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JANUARY 14. 1832. 

The House bein.^ in Committee of the whole. Mr. W. H. Hay- 
oou ill ilip Chair, the Preamble and Resolutions, wliirii had been 

infroducid by Mr. Whitakei-;, from tlie C<iiiiity of Macon, some 

days a,£;o, were read : winch wrrt' as follows: 

Whereas many of the good people of North-Carolina entertain the opinion that 
the Constitution of the State is defective in some of its fuiidnmental provisions, and 
requires amendment ; more especially in the present mode of Representation, 
which instead of being on tlie just and equitable basis of taxation and population, 
is according to counties, unequal in sizi and greatly disproportionate in wealth and 

AsD WnF.BE.4S, local jealousies and divisions, growing out of thisstate of things, 
have for many years existed among tlie people, distractiiigthe councils of the State, 
and obstructing liberal and wholesome legislation — a condition of things which the 
character and prosperity of tlie State loudly require should be removed from among 
us, that we may become wie /leuple, possessing common rights, and Influenced by a 
common principle. 

An"u Whkreas, many of the good people of this State entertain the opinion, that 
the Seat of Government should be removed to some place uniting more advantages 
than the City of Raleig'h : Therefore, for the purpose of removing these defects, 
on principles of compromise and mutual concession, and with a view of restoring 
good feeling among our citizens, and harmony in the councils of the General Assem- 
bly : 

Be it Hf solved, by the General Assembly of the State, and it is hereby resolved 
by the authority of the same, tliat it is expedient to call a Convention of the free- 
men of North-CayoUna, for the purpose of considering the propriety of amending 
tire Constitution of the State, and also of removing the Seat of Government. 

He.olvil flirt li-r. that it shall be tlie duty of the Sheriffs of the several counties 
in this State, on the day of next, after twenty days notice, to open polls 

at the places where elections are usually held in their respective counties, under 
the same rales and regulations, as elections for members of the General Assembly 
are now held ; and all free white men over the age of 21 years, having been citi- 
zens of the State twelve montlis immediately precerUng the day of election, are re- 
quested to attend said polls, and vote for Delegates to a Convention. 

And he it fuTlhiT "i solved, that the Delegates so chosen, shall be distributed 
among the several covmties as follows, the same being on the basis of federal num- 
bers, that is to say : — the counties of Ashe, Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Carter- 
et, Currituck, C'lowan, Camden, Gates, Greene, Hertford, Hyde, Haywood, .Jones, 
Lenoir, Macon, Martin, Nash, Onslow, Pasquotank;, Perquimans, Robeson, Tyrrell, 
anii Washington, each one Delegate — the counties of Anson, Bertie, Beaufort, Ga- 


barms, Chatham, Cumberland, Caswell, Craven, Duplin, Davidson, Edgecomb, 
Fraiikhn, Halifax, Jo inston, Mocire, Montg-omery, Northampton, New-Hanover, 
Person, Pitt, !i mdolph, Rocking-ham, Richmond, Sampson, Surry, Wilkes, 
Warren and Wayne, each, two D-'leifates tlie counties of Burke, Bun- 
combe, Guilford, Granville, Iredell, Mecklenburg-, Rutherford, Stokes and Wake, 
each, three Delegates — the counties of Lincoln, Orange and Rowan, each, four De- 

Hi f further RfKolved, that tlie Delegates so chosen, shall meet in Convention, 
on the day of next, and when duly organized shall jiroceed to consi- 
der the propriety of adopting the following articles as a part of the Constitution of 
the State : and said Convention shall be restricted and limited to the propriety of 
adop'ing or rejecting these articles, or any or either of them, and no other. 

AuTicir. I. Tlie Senate shall be composed of Members, biennially chosen, one 
from each County in the State, Senators and Electore shall both possess the same 
qualifications as are now required of each, respectively, by the Constitution. 

Art. II. The Houseof Commons shall be composed of Members, biennially cho- 
sen by the free white men of the Stale, in the same manner as hereinafter prescri- 
bed ; and the Members and their Electors shall possess respectively, the same 
qualifications as are now required by the Constitution. 

Abt. in. Representation in the House of Commons shall be eqiftd and uniform, 
und shall be regulated and ascertained by the General Assembly once in every ten 
yeai's, on the basis of federal numbers, that is, thi'ee fifths of the black popidatioa 
added to the whole of the whte popul.atipn. The ratio on which the Representa- 
tives shall be distributed among the several counties, at theperiod of every ten years, 
shall be so fixed by law, as not to give fewer than ninety, nor more than one hundred j 
members tO' the House of Commons, over and above tiie Representatives of the I 
towns, if the Borough System should be retained. When a county may not con- 
tain a sufficient number of federal numbers to entitle it to a member, and when the 
fractions of the adjacent counties added thereto, are still less than the ratio, then 
two or more counties may be joined together for the purpose of sending one mem- 
ber or more, according to what they may be entitled to send by the settled ratio. 
When there are two or more counties, adjacent to each otlier, having fi-actions over 
and above the ratio fixed on, if such fractions when added, together, will amount to 
the ratio, then one member shall be added to the county having the largest frac- 
tion The first an-angement on the principle of the amendment, shall be made by 
the General Assembly, in the year 1841, and until then, tlie House of Commons 
shall be composed of members from the several counties as follows, to wit : [The 
Resolution is at present in blank as to tlie arrangement.] 

Art. IV. The General Assembly shaU meet once in every two years, but should 
the public interest require it, the Governor, in the interim, may call an extra ses- 
sion. , 

AnT. V. The Governor, Public Treasurer and Secretary of State, shall be bien- 
nially chosen by joint ballot of the two Houses. No person shall be eligible to th» 
office of Governor longer than four years, in eight successive years. 

Aht. VI. Whenever any town in this State, not now entitled to representation, 

shall possess a population of souls, such town shall become entitled to send 

one member to the House of Commons ; and when any town, now represented or 

hei'eafter to be represented, shall cease to possess a population of souls then 

such town shall forfeit the right of representation. 

Abt. VII. No higher taxes shall be imposed on the Slave, than on the White 
poll, and slaves shall not be taxed at an earher age than twelve years, nor at a later 
ag- than fifty years. 

Aht. VIII. The Convention shall determine on the expediency of removing the 
Seat of Government, and if they determine on removing it, then they shall fix the 
place of removal, whi-^h shall become the permanent Seat of Government until re- 
moved by the people in Convention assembled. 

At'tPi- Mtf ?; t !ii;4; ot'wl'lfh 

Mr. FlSHEJi rose, aud addressed the Chair in substance as fol- 
lows : 

As no other gentleman seems disposed to present his views to the 
Committee, I shall lake the liberty nf offeiiiig h fe-- pelimiii-u-y 
reniHrks, but shnll not go into the merits of the question a' pie- 

Ii seems, sir, that there has been some differenre of opinion as to 
the pii'prietj' of brin.e;iii.a; this -uhji-ct. at this time, hi foit tl^e Le- 
giNlature. 1 am one i>f tliose who entertain ihe opinion that now 
is the proper time to bring it forward, and that no e:ood rrason ex- 
ists tor keepina; it back. I will state «liv : In the first place then, 
now is Ihe proper time for bringing the qnention for"«i''l, and dis- 
cussing it, for the reason that the penpk of the West expect it, and 
look tor it. During the pn^t twelve monili^, ihe.v lia^e looked to 
the pi'esent session of the Legislature for a movemint on the sub- 
jeci of Con\ennon. I will go farther: I say, that every mem- 
ber from the Wesi, before, and lor some time after he came h-re, 
full) and confidently expected ihe introduction of tliis subjeci. — 
Am ) wrong in this opinion ? It so, let me he corrected. 

Bill theie is another reason why the Con\en'iofi question should 
nou be agitated. Not only the people of the West, hot likcM^e 
the people of the East, have looked for a niovemeut on the -object 
at this session. I do not say that the people of the East wish it, 
but certainly they Inoked for it. I ask ihe members from the East, 
■whether it has not been tiie general anticipation of their consfitu- 
esits thai this subject v^eiild now be <!iscussed ? 

But why is it that 'he question of Cooveoiioii is looked for by 
the people of every part of the State i i will tell jdu : [t is be- 
cause this is the first session of ilie LegisSature ilmi has orruried 
since the census of 18S0 has been laid before 'iie public. During 
the last six or eight years, the people of the West have been look- 
ing forward to the time when that census should be taken, as it 
Would furnish the facts on wlt:ch to base thtir claims for a Con- 
vention, and present the subject in stronger jminis of view than ever 
before. At the last session, many of the members were estreniely 
anxious to bring forward tlie subject and have it disciisseri. luit 
they were resisted on tlie ground that we were not in possession of 
the materials — the census of 1830 hail not tlien been presented to 
the public ; and on that arcoiint it was deemed best to put it off 
until this sessi(m. 

The census of ISSO is now before us — we have all the facts and 
arguments necessary to sustain our cause. ^^ by then, put it off 
any longer. 

Bui there is yet another reason why the public have looked to 
the present session for a inoveineiit on tlie subject of Convention. 
This reason grew out of the unloitunite destruction of the State- 
House; for the mail bore toe n, ws of this catastvnphe abroad 
carried with it the impression thai now would be the time to ur^© 

our demand for a reform of the Constitution. How is it, or why 
is it, 'hat he siibjiTt of Cinveiition has bei'ii coniicrtpd witli the 
rel'iiildiiig 'if tin- Stnte Homso. is noi neo-ssary Tdi- mr to cxplrtin: 
Ew.-y gt'iitleinanundci'Siaiids it. 

Siiice. then, it is (jpiifi-ally expected that the question of Conven- 
tion should be brought fu'ward at this session, would we nut |iiOve 
recreant to tde interest and vvjshes of the Wisi to r)Ut ii t>ff any 
louji^er ? Would it not look as if we were gi>ing uji our rlaiins, 
and admitting that they are groundless ? \\ h.»t guwd reasons rould 
we assign to our coiistiluents, on ri'turning liome, for neglertii.g to 
press the call of a Convention on tlie attention of the Li'sisUuire ? 

But, sir, (here is yet another re^soii why this su'iject sliuild be 
brought firward without 4ny lurihei di lay. It is due to tlie peo- 
ple ol' the East themselves. Thr people of the Ehsi ha»e taken 
up erfoneous views as regards a Con\entiori. Tliey have been 
tauglii fo believe (hat \\p want a Convention for the pni-pose sim- 
pl> "fiib'aioing mot i' power — that vvecare nothingaboot principle — 
that power is all we v. an;. They have been taught iobelii'<e Uiat 
we wi-;h to disfranchise them — to pass iaws that will opprrss and 
vuiii tlnMn. Now, sir, I say the sootii-r we convince oui- hrethr-en 
in the East that they aie wi-ong in llieir opinion, 'he bi'tter \i will 
be for ns all, and how is tliis to he done, bur by b'-ingiiig forward 
the subject, and let them see wh >t we complain of, and why we 
complain : — that it is not for the puiijose of oppressing tlnm — that 
it is ooi a rearli afttM- power, bu' eqtml rights, we go for : — tli'at 
this hydra, this maoy-headed mot.ster, a Convention, is not as hi- 
deous as they have been taught to believe. 

Then, sir, it is due to the people of tlie East that ihf question 
should be laiily represented to itiem. and it is due to the (nopje of 

the West to bring forward their ciaims and not suppress them 

F'o- these reasons, I am one of those who joined in adiising the in- 
troduction of the Res(dutions on the tahle. 

As much pains have been taken out of dof)rs to make an impres- 
sion that the present is ao iinpioper time for stirring thi' sii ject, 
I have thought [)roper to present these vie^vs to the House. I shall 
now resume my seat, and reserve what I ha\e to say mi tiie merits 
of the question itself to some future st-ige of Uie dehate. I am de- 
terred from proceeding at this time by a severe aflTection of my 
iungs ; but allow me to make ooe remark before I I'esnine my seat 
as to the resolutions bef ire us. I know there is a diflTereiicenf opi- 
nion as fo the plan ot compromi-e proposed.' Some think we are 
giving too unich — oiliers noi enough. However this may be, the 
niMiives of i!ie geiiilemen on whose advice they w-ee introduced, 
must he consider: d as patriotic and jnMisewoi thy. The o'y<-ci fs 
to ci>mpfooi!se a lo'ig and disteaitiiig coinest bei>ieen the t-\'i sec- 
tisns of N, Carolina; to settle the broils that have year after year 

thrown the Le_e;i'!latui'e and thi' penplp of the State into hostile ar- 
ray ttfuiiist <• ii h (itlici. No inilnidiial (I'p'oi'i's ihi^ st;fe of things 
moi'v rliAii I lie, mil every tVeiiiit; "f p^tii iti in riMjoif'-s tliu it 
siiould he (loin- iiWHj as spedily, as possible. To Hcroinpl'sli m a niHHin I" tliis s;ifH\ purpcsi-, Imnifss, I am ttilliiigto 
give lip .siiMU'thiiis;, to enfer mi Ihe suiiject in h s;iiiii of coniDi'O- 
nii.<e. I (•(.nh'ss 'hat I would prtfei taUinj; tiXation n'ld popnUiiion 
as a fonihiiK'd b^isis, and applyiiii; it t" boih Hon-cs 1 Mi'old 
likewise pe-fer seeing tedeiai iiutobers .ppiicil t. bo'ti tlouse^. but 
Ih (piesiion is, shall we hold out at th'' risk of hI-h ist I'lil war 
for all t'tat we ought to have, or shall we raee' on ihi> geoUiiils of 
comproniist', and endeavoi- to iirouiott' tha peace, rlie qnii', general 
pfospei'iij and velfar^ of Norih-Cn'olina f I think no jiatciot, u9 
real li-i''iid of Nurtli-Carolina, will for an iustant hesiUie as to 
vvhii li eo.iiHe we ought to pursue. 

Ml. PEARSON said, 

I regiet tiiat indisposition prevents the gentleman from Salisbury 
from entering into this discussion. I had couiitid upon his as-ist- 
ance in the In^at and brunt of the loutest. I did not expect to be 
throw n into tlie foremost ranks. 

V\'lien I fii'st looked a" the resolutions, so great was my desire 
to settle tlie distracted state .f ihe cuuntrv, tha» must continue un- 
til soraeiliing i'* done ; so gieat was my d>'sire to remove the source 
of the sectio'^al feeling that has fn- many years divided this body, 
and prevented all whnissonie lei^slation, and to bring ahout a nevf 
order of things, when we shall be actuated by one common princi- 
ple — a desire to lienefit oar common country — that 1 was in- 
clii'ed to go for them. But I found the West, at least a large ma- 
jority 'if tlie ^'Vest, ojiposetl to them ; and, upon examination, I 
disc 'vered they concede too much. If representation by coiiiities 
be uiuqiial in one House, ii mii~t he so in the other; and if the 
principl'' liy which Wr propose lo reform the House of Commons, 
and reduce the number of inent'ieis, he a good one, we should adopt 
it in foto. and reduce the numbei- of Senators also. The interest 
of landholders is peculiarly represent, d in the Senate, and the in- 
terest of aii classes in the House '-f Uoininons. Will it be con- 
,6istent with thiS theory to leave the Senate so nearly equal in 
point of numbers to the House i.f Commons ? Should it be more 
tha" half.' Is it uioi-e thxii half in any well balanced Constitu- 
tion i Again, Sir, the resolutions do not provide that the amend- 
ments agre'-d upon by the Convention shall be submitted to the 
people for their ratification. I am not willing unnecessarily to 
repose too much power any where. 1 wish the people to look 
over whai their delegat' s may do, and to ratify their acts before 
they become a part of the Constitution ; for these reasons I can- 


not vote for the resolutions as they now stand. I will trouble the 

coiiiinitire with a lew Dbservatioiis on tlie siihjerl, and s^.all rh^'ii 
noin e to amemi, hy -.trikirig <»ui all llieartiiles except ilie 8th, 
whicli reliites to the Sijit of Govei-iiuient, ami insei-t a provision 
for !! getifi'rtl Cdiivetitiuis, and ralificatioii by tlie people. When 
Avf meet in j^eiiei-al Coisvention, it will be litne enona;!) to fix upon 
such inurtial coi'.-cssioKS >is niav be ncressriry to " enable parties to 
meet." I sliuiild be wiilioj;; to udopt 95 as the iniinber in the (join- 
nio'is, 45 in t(u' Senate, and to adopt federal numbers as the basis 
of rrpresentation in the Cunimoiis — f <leial numbers and taxation 
in titf Senate. Tliis v/ould b'.' a fait- concession. It would semre 
equal repiesetitation. and preserve the relative weight of the two 
bodies. These are matters, however, which will no doubt be at- 
tended lo by the Convention. 

Mr. Cliaitinan, no man can feel a highsr veneration for the pa- 
triots who f.rhieved tiie isidepeiijlence of this country than I do. 
No man more (liglilv venerates the ConstiUition, which i.s 'he work 
of tlieir, than I do. It was admirably suited to the ti'iies 
foi- which It was rn*de, jiinl i.s clearly establishes (he claim of its 
framers to I iie wisdoii> of statesmen, as (he battles of the revtdu- 
tion, their ciaiiris to ilip valor of soldier.s ; and, sir, I cannot feel 
that tliis veneration is i;.;id aside, when I assert, that in its opera- 
tion upon the preseni state of \h<' country, the Constitution is 
grossly unequal, and is, of course, defective! fir, sir, I have too 
muih respect for tlie foie'iight of those .«;re;it and good men to sup- 
pose that tliey iiitcinied or expected the Constitution, w^ich was at 
that time adopted,' would n.niain iinclianged and unalterable, and 
■would be pressed upo-i ^fter a.^es, wkeMie:' applicable to their C(m- 
dition or noi. N > inao could then foresee tUe iminense chinge 
that fifty years lias elfected ; but every itian of ordinary reflectitm 
jnosl have anticipidi'd a \zry ijteat clianfje, iit'd a politician who 
■would have iield out the idea, that a CoMStitntion could be so fram- 
ed as to suit botii tiie corid) ion of t(;o country then, and its condi- 
tion now, would have been looked cpon as a fool. To contend 
that the framers of (he ConsfitiiMo;' intended ti> hold it forth to the 
•World as (lerfert, and expected it wi)uld be a|>plicable to the pre- 
sent state of tiiitigs, as we!! as to their owo times, is to «i!eiract 
■very mm h from their wisdom. I lielieve tiie pre ent Consiitutioii 
■was inteotied as ?. mere temporary compact, formed in the iiurry of 
the moment to suit ihe e'oergency, and under tlie full exjiectation 
that when the storm of impendiim War bid passed over, and the 
sunshine of peace was restored, tliere would then be time to d.gest 
and mature a Consiitntion according to the prineiples and theory 
of ('oerect government, so as to secure to all tlie blessings of lib.T- 
ty ! and by a recurrence Lo the provisions of the instrument itself, 
the circumstances under which it was formed, the condition of the 

country at that time, and the history of that day, this view of the 
Slibjcrt vtill be fully 

Dni'H it not Hffin stimige ihai the fathers of the revolution, in 

forinini^ a Coustilutioii, retained ill- English s>stem of ri'|)resen- 

I tatioM by counties, witliont regii'd to extent if territory, jiopulatioa 

I or taxation, and liie English syniein of borough representation, 

and did not act up >v in an> way re'^ognize iii that instrument, 

the prinriple that "t:(Xaiion and representation should go to- 
gether" — a principle for wliich they were aliou- to enga.;^e in aa 
une<inal war, and to maintain wiiirh iln-y ple'lged their lives, their 
liberties, anrl th ir sacred honor ? Can ihis be accounted for in 
any other way, than by supposing that it was intended as a mere 
temporary arrangement ? 

VVhat were the circumstances under which tlie Constitution was 
•framed? The colonies iiad just thrown off the British yoke — had 
scarcely realized the idea that tlie people could govern themselves 
— were deafened by the iioti's of busy preparation, and all the 
" pomp and ciiciimsfance of war" — a war witli the most formida- 
bh' nation in the world, aidrd by a strong body of tories in the 
bo-om (if the country ! Under these circumstances, could they 
mature a Constitution upon the new princijdes and opinions for 
wliich they were about (o contend ? Could they make any but a 
temjtorary anangenn iit ? 

What Wiis ih.- condition of the cnnntry ? Tlie State extended 
west to the Mississippi river; it had not been laid off into cinin- 
ties farther west ihui Rowan and Mecklenlmrg ; it contained 
about three linndred thousand souls. Was there the means of as- 
certaining the proper basis of R presentation ? It was wise to 
adopt the old Englisli system for the jn-esfnt emergency, and little 
WHS it expected tiiat lliat temporary Constitution would be in use 
in 1832, afier the State had become si>ttled and improved, was di- 
vided into 64 Counties, and conlaini'd 738.000 souls. Can it be 
thought for an instant, that it was expected the system by which 
eveiy comity is entitled to three members, would be kept up af- 
ter the State was settled and laid off into counties as far West as 
the iM'ssissiiipi ? Was it foreseen that this Western territory 
would be given away to get rid of it? 

And, sir, what is the history of that day ? Many of the colo- 
nies acted under their old colonial chartt-rs until the war was 
over. A few. North/Carolina of the tiumber, in 1776, has'ily 
drew up a Constitution, retaining most of the features — nav :he 
very names of their old charters. AH the States that formed C.m- 
sli-urions in 1773, North-Carolina ex- epted. have since remodelled 
them — many of tiiem more tlian once. E .-n the States that made 
Constitntiois in 1790. nave f.iund ir lecessary to amend tliem, to 
meet the changes that have taken place ! North- Carolina alone 


Las remained stationary, and failed to keep pace with the age. — 
The jiiiifii;ils of tlial (iay show that the frainer-i of that inmrument, 
bound tosji'ihei' hy a coiiinion dni^icr. thiit poinied the cocfgies of 
the Stale to one ohjert. and alisoched all selfish and illiheral con- 
siderations, completed the work in less than a week, and then en- 
gaged themselves in pnividini; th<' ways and means of re(ieliing the 
invading enemy. These eii-cnmstances all prove that this Consiitu- 
tiftn v\as a temporary arrangement. The hope tlial, wlien peace 
was restored, a Constitution could be lurincd eic^iiriiig to all equal 
rightM and an equal parti(-i|iati<ni in the birssings of government, 
lias never been realizi d. As soon as the convnon danger vias re- 
moved, as if the lid of Pandora's hox had been liftrd. the had pas- 
sions of men flew out, sectiinial jealousy, pariy feeling, and all the 
distraction that interest and ambition can originate, divided the 
councils of the State. As early as 1787, Governor Spaight of 
Newbern, intrndm-ed resolutions for a Convention. Attempts 
have been made, time after time ; bnt the distracted condition of 
the country rendered tjn^m all abortive. 

Mr. Cliairman, the Constitntion contains no provision pointing 
out a formal way to make amendmrnts. It was mi donhl thought 
iinnccessary. The people have at all times a right to al'er ilteif 
form of government. But, sir, there is in the Bill of Rights-a 
clause, bv which we arc solemnly admoidsiied to :n:ike am' nd- 
ments to suit the change of times. " A fi iqnent recurrence t" fun- 
damental principlev, is absujutely necessiiry to preservr the bles- 
sing', of lilicrty." What is meant bv recurring to fundamental 
principles? Is it that the Legislature in enacting laws, ainl the 
Judges and Justices of the Peace in adminisering liiem an- to re- 
cur lo fundamental jirinciples ? No sucii thing, sir. Tne one is 
bonni by a wiitten Constitnlion, tin- other hv estahlisiied laws, — 
a ii-iick is marked out for them, and tliey must keep in it. By 
fundamental principles, is meant, the ori,ti;inal principles id' social 
U'.i'iu — (lie origiiuil rights of man ; and the faiht-rs of the revtdu- 
tioii having themselves Just reiurred to these principles, hy de- 
claring the independence of tliis Country, its si paratiun from the 
mother country, and its determination lo establish a government 
for its( If, having in fact recurred to the sacred right of revolution 
.^the right inherent in ever^ people to cliange, modify or amend 
their government whenever it becurnes necessarv — inousjhi it pro- 
per, in this solemn manner, to justify their course, and to admon- 
ish those vvho Come after them, th-vt v\ liein-ver, by reasmi of the in- 
creased population and property uf the country, or in any other 
way, the exisiing government ceasid to operate equallv una!!, and 
to preserve the equal rights of all, it whs right — n iv, absoiiitelij neces- 
sary, iftdey wisli-'d to preset ve the blessings of liberi) — to reinr to 
fundamental principles, and change, modify or amend the Gonstito- 

tion. Truly, sir, this was spoken in tiie spirit of prophecy. It fopq- 
told (hat thi'blpssings of liberty could not Im |)resei ved but b> a fre- 
quent lecui ritice to fundanieoiai piiiu iplcs. We have neglected this 
adniiiuitioii, and tln' biessiiii^s ofliberty have notbeeii preserved. One 
oftiie first blessings liflibeity iHequ;il rights. The right of lepiesoiita- 
tion is the dearest and mostsacred right of man. With it, he is h free- 
man — without it. a slave ! Is the right of representation eq.i;il un- 
der the present Constitution i Has tliis greatest blessing •>£ liber- 
ty been preserved ? Cast youreyc over the members of tliis House, 
Are they st-nt here b.v the same number of voters ? Are .my two 
counties equal in extent, in ))opulation or taxation? Still every 
eounty sends an equal number of members. This general view of 
inequality must strike tlie attention of every one. But particular 
cases will sometimes strike more forcibly. Let us advert to two 
counties, and institute a cor.iparison. RiWan is not tiie largest, 
nor Washington the smallest county. Rowan contains a popula- 
tion in f.deral numbers of 18.180 ; Wasbiiigion 3,740 — diffrence 
14,440. Rowan pays anmially a land tax of S704 ; Wasinf^i^ton 
8160 — dilTereiire S55-1. Rowan pajs aiiiinally a tax of Sl.818j 
Washington S560 — difference Sl,258. Rowan and Wasliiii.<toti 
send each three members, who have equal political weiglit. Is this 
equality i — Is there any circumstance connected «ito tip 300 voter.s 
in WaslangtoM which entitles them to the same politicil weight 
thai tlie I SiiO voters of Rowan have ? Is their l.ind bntr? In 
time of need svill they furnisii the same amount of money oe of 
men ? Why then shall one man, because he liapp iis to live witliia 
certain marlied lines called the county of Washington, be, for ihe 
purpiise of representation, equal to six men in Rowan ? If is caused 
by tlie operation of the unequal and absurd systi-m of couuiy re- 
presentation, under which < ounties ari- considered equal foi- the pur- 
pose of representation, and unequal forevery thingelse. Tuis is the 
strangest representation ever imposed upon a p>'ople. who believed 
they lived ilia lejiublican country ! Sir, in i he Federal Government, 
■whic'liisaUnion bftween sovereign Slates, every district iliat seudsa 
member to the House of Representiitives pays the same amount of lax.-> 
es. it would be tlmught monstrous, were all the eouuiies compelled to 
pay tlie same amount of taxes ; hui it would be right, sir. If they be 
equal in representation, they should be equal in taxition, — and 
sir, all the other States now have Constitutions in which tiie basis 
of rejireseiitation is free white population or pojiulaiion and taxa- 
tion combined. They aie all wrong, or North-Carolina is wrong. 
But it may be said this is a sectional qu 'Stion, a question betweea 
East and West, Will that alter the inequality ? Tak.- the line 
laid down by a conspicuous man of the Easi. Mr. Sraoly, in a for- 
mer debate upon ttiis question : draw a line from the corner of 
Granville, south through the State, and you have 28 Western and 


36 Eastern counties. Take as tin" pi-oper basis, federal numbers ia 
one House, and T deral niiinbers and land taxation, which is the 
Coir<cl rtilp ; for if net^nx-s be inciiidrd in federal numbers, it is 
not risbt to include tbem again in taxation. Oi- to avoid disputes, 
take fedeial numbers and taxation generally in the other, and how 
does tlie calcnlaiinn stand ? 

28 Westem counties contain in federal numbers 347,592 

36 Eastern counties 292,292 

In favor ofWest 55, 300 

28 Western counties pay a land tax of $11,220 

36 Eastern counties 12,421 

In favor of East 1,201 

28 Western counties pay in taxes 32,064 

36 Eastern counties 36,95S 

In favor of the East 4,894 

Upon the basis of federal numbers, if the number nf members re- 
miin the same, the 28 Western counties w(Mild be entitled to 104 
members, the 36 Eastern to 84, giving the West a majority of 20. 
Combining federal numbers and land taxation, the West would be 
entitled to a majoiity of about 18 members ; and combining fede- 
ral number's and the wholi- taxation, the West would be entitled to 
a majority of about 16. Under tin' piesent Constiiuiion, the East 
has a maj(nMty of 24 ; so that on the first princiitle there ought to 
be a diti'erence ol 44, on the second of 42, and on the third of 40. 
And this too after conceding ihe basis of white population entirely. 
Is this fair ? Is it ? I appeal t<i the gentlemen of the East, 
and ask diem if it is lighl to exclude the West from an equal par- 
licipaiion of political power ? I appeal to tiiem as citizens of the 
same St;ite, members of the same family, and ask if they can lay 
their hands upon their hearts and say, they will hold power to 
whih they lia\e no right, and which accidental circnmstjnces 
alone (daced in their possession ? Will ihey reply in the language 
af :i Kingof England, when questioned as to his right to the i row a? 
" M\ f(ther wore if, andga\e it me, and by this right I'll wear it." 
Sir, there is another griexance under the present Constitution, 
one iliat very materially aHe«:ts the growing prosperity of a jior- 
tion of our State. I allude to the difficulty, almost impossibility, 
of dividing the large counties in the West. Your citizens have a 
right to expect that their convenience in attending courts and other 
public meetings will be cmisulted by the erection of counties of 
a reasonable size. The size of counties should be regulated by 
convriiienre on one hand — restrained by ctninty expenses on the 
Otln r. Under the action of these balaming principles, couniies 
Will iieilher be too large norjoo small. But, sir, when a memorial 


is presented to this body, pespeitfully praying for the erertion of a 
new ciiiiMiy, 'hr subjec t. iiisteail (if lii-iriii (iecidcd by tlnsi- (niiif iplRS 
alone, is iiii!(ien( I'd \\ holly by the coiisiit<M-atiort tf p litii' ' pow^r. 
It is not asked are the complaints well founded ? — will th' extntof 
tcnitor>. tlie |)i>pnhitji»n and the taxation of (lir piopi-sed new 
coiiiily, jtisiify its eieriion ? It is gravily ask'-d. Imw "ill »h'' -'d- 
ditioii nf tliiee nnnibeis affect the powpf of the E st ? And the 
answer governs the de<ision. M»iivin ials npon nn-oioiials have 
been pie-^ented, and have been rejected npon the considiraiion of 
politi(;il power alone. And, sir, they will always be njected. until 
the system of county representation is abolished ! Some new 
coiiniies. it is true, iiave been erected. Most of ihem were obtain- 
ed h) striking off a new county in tin- East, as an tquivalenl. All 
were forced from a reluctant hand. Luok at your mountain coun- 
try ! v>ithout public pa'ronage, witliour the encdiiiMjjement of a li- 
beral and correct policj ,ii hasgrown andheroniepnpuidusand weal- 
thy, in sjiite of your neglect. How nim h oinre improved would that 
Country now haAt been. Iiad you pur-^ued tow aids it the policy observ- 
' ed in every other Stale towaids tlieii unsettled territory — hud yttu 
supported and helped it on b} tiiefostei ing arm of goxernment — had 
you even offered a proper measure of convenience to tliose wlm are in- 
clined to settle it? The county of Ashe is an instance in point. That 
is a mountain country, but the roun'y isof convenieni size, and the 
county of Ashe has increased more in the last ten years than any coun- 
ty in the State. But the misfortune is, that as the difference in poli- 
tical power becimies definite and certain, as you approach the point 
of equality, the chance of a new county, it has really alway- been 
a chunce, is lessened ; and, my word for it, sir, refoi mthe House 
of Cominotis ; let the Senate remain as is proposed in the originaL 
resolutions, let eigiit in the Senate be the Eastern majority, and 
you never will see another new county. Is not the settling and 
iroproveraent of our westerti country a strong consicJeraiion fop 
calling a Convention, when experience makes it clear that under 
the present Constitution, collaterally it is true, but no less cer'ain- 
ly, insurmountable obstacles are opposed to t!ie adoption of liberal 
policy ? 

One of the blessings of liberty is the enjoyment of a good go- 
vernment and good laws, with as little expense to the people as the 
nature of things will admit. Is not the L, gisiature unnecessarily 
lar.«,e? Would not half the number make as good laws in a miirhi 
shorter time t Is there a necessity that the Legislature should 
meet every year? It appears to me, sir, tlrat if the Legis- 
lature met biennially, the policy of the State would be more per- 
manent — tlie laws less fluctuating. The practical ooeration of 
laws Would be seen before they were ivpealeU ; yonr people would 
fiadout what laws you had passed before they were altered j and. 

12 ' 

sir, all this would be a^tciK'.!*! with a saving of at least g 25,000 ;; 
a year. Is tliis nothin!;, sii' ? I believe F need not press Uii'^ton- 
sidprHtioti Ujujt) gentlemen wlio know so well the value of money, 
and who are so liltle ini lined to tax tin- ()enjde. 

But, sir, there is another and a weighty reason for calling a 
Convention. The State is torn and distracted by sectional feeling; 
all vviii'lesonie legislation is marred ; the Legislature meets not to 
pnnide for the general good, but to witness the sliuiigles of fac- 
tions. Tlii3 has been the c ise, and will be the case until these dif- 
fer'-nees are settled in Convention. Do geiitlemen wi-ih to see this 
state of things continued? Will they refuse to join in a measure 
tha' will unite us as a band of brothers ? We were told a few days 
ago, in the discussion of the ipproiiriation bill, by the gentlemen 
"who took part in the debate, that, however much they were iinlin- 
ed :unicably to settle these diflferences, if the appropriation was re- 
fused they could not go with us, as it «ou!d liave tlie semblance of 
acting u'ldir compulsion. They said, they would not move n step 
with a rod over them. Will those gentltincn jiardon me for re^ 
minding them, that this proposition has been made time alter time, 
and has been as often spurned by them ; and that it appears to us 
that they refuse it now for the reasons they lefused it before. It 
seems to us, sir, that tlie excitement upon tin- State-House ques- 
tion proves clearly, the unhappy disti action of the country, and 
demonstiates the necessity of a Convention ; and being unable to 
appreciate the feeling by whiih the refusal uf the appropriation is 
made an imaginary rod held over their bat ks, we are forced to 
think that it is a mere excuse for their illiberality, a mere cloak to 
com eal a reluctance to resign powei- to which ihey are conscious 
they tiavc no right. From this remaik, I must he permitted to 
make one exception. One of tliuse genthMnen has always been a 
liberal venter. When a tjuestion was proposed, he stojiped not to 
ask. <lid i' Come from the East or tlie West ? It w^s .sufficient for 
liini to know it was rigiit. And although we lament, as the 
utiforruirate consequence of the Appinpriation question, that we 
now see him in the a<!verse ranks, ready to lend his poweifiil arm 
to crush right and uphold wrong ! We believe in the moment of 
excitement, when he permitted Ins feelings to be too highly wrought 
up, in the discussion of a favorite question, and in tiie moment of 
di>!<«ppointn)en(, when he reminded us of his former friendship, and 
found he was uof able to sway us, he permitted himself to be carried 
away by the feelings of " those among wli an his lot is cast." — 
"We still respect his virtues and admire his talents. We coii-ider 
him an m^nament to iliis House, an ornament to his native Si.tte, 
arid we have regretted, and d;' now regret, that, ( I'aniped and kept 
down by the illilieiaiity ofp.'tv feeling, his talents liave nut been 
able to display themselves upon a theatre where they would be an 


ornament to the nation. Are tliese the sentiments alone of tiie in- 
(liviAiisl who luiw addresses yi 111 ? Tin l<ioks of all Aiound ine 
priiclrtiiii thiit ilic fet'linif is imiM'rsal. VVc mees in (In- world, 
with s<" iniicli illibnality. ^o much piejudice and bml iiulicy, that it 
is .1 itlief to find a man, whom v\e ran love and veiiei-ate; it is 
suiishini' to ihe soul. We-are sorry it has been darkened by a 
passiiit; rlciud. 

Mr. Chairman, per'mit me to make one or two remarks upon 
the app'opriatioii. We were told, tlie oblii^ation of a snlrmn Oith 
bound us to vote tiie appropriation. The oatli was pressed upon 
us av fiequently, and willi as much art, as an experiruced advo- 
cate presses it upcin an ignorant jury tiiat he d(tes not respect, with 
the hope of aequitling a rlient «liom he knows tn be guilty ! We 
weri' told, tlip piight'd faiili of the Stale bo'ind us to vote the appro- 
priation ! We could not tliink so. We admit Raleigh is to hf the 
Seat of Government, until, under an cx|)ress provision of the otdi- 
iianee, it is rerao»ed bj a (Jcmvention ; hut, we believe, to 'i.Te 
voted the apprOj>riation Ihi- *'.es-,ion, would have been to forestal 
public o|iinion ; and, iiy a hasty rxcicisc of liie brief power with 
whirli we are in\ests'd, to pieveiii the exercise of a p'>wer reserv- 
ed in the oidinaun- itseil. i will put a case, sir. Y'lU own a 
plaiituion in a distant county ; your buildings are burnt di.wn j 
and the o»erseei-, lia% ing good reason to believe iha> you wish to se- 
lect a mote eligible situation, sets to work and bui'd-' th-m up in 
the old place, without consulting yon upon the subject. Would he 
not act in biid failh ? Would he not violate Ill's trust? Sir, we 
are confirmid in our \iew of the case by recurring to the history 
of the Siate-H-ouse. Does it not seem strange, that, after the Le- 
gistaiure in 1787 had Ciilrd a CoiivutiMn, and after this Conven- 
tion, in 1788. had, bj a majoiitv of r'leve;i, fixed upon this place 
as the Seal of Gu\eriimenr, the Legislature in 1789 should prove, 
refjactmy and refuse to carry the ordinance into effect by voting 
an appropriation ; thai in 1790 the appropriation was again re- 
fused ; and that in 1791 it was carried by but one vote — 57 in the 
affiiiiiative, .55 in the negative — one vote W'Uild have made it a tie, 
56 to 56, as it was the year before, and the bill been lost? H:iw 
is this explained ? There were in the Legislature calling the 
Convention, and in the Convention, seven counties in what is now 
Tennessee, represcTited ; and by referring to the Journals, you will 
find th V voted wiih tiie East. In the "Fall of 1789, Tennessee 
was ceded to the United States ; thi East, by the cession act, lost 
their Tennessee allies ; and the West and Cape Fear successfully 
resisted the ordinance which had been ulitaioed by this manage- 
meiii. until t:ie desertion of TiniMthy Blooilivorili. His name, sir, 
liad been cot.signed ui obli ion. W'e lemembered the treason, but 
had forgotten the traitor, milil tlic gentleman from Wake was kind 


enough to britigliis name to lisjlit by way of apoloe;y for his con- 
durt. Tin sc f^cts sjjexk voliimps ; but there is stiil fiir-'her pn.of. 
Can any otic siij)|)(iso 'he Tennessee cminiii's would inive agreed 
to fix the Slrtie-Hoiise witU'tn 120 miles of ihe Atlanlir, had they 
not been full} assuicc! of beitij;; nded nff, and ererted info a sejia- 
rate State I Here, sie, here is a bargain fm you, on a magnificent 
scale — a bargain by which tlie State lost her- valuable western 
territory, ami by which Riteigli gained the Siau-Honse. 'I'he 
old nn n nf ihe- West t'lld it to their children, whose young hh.od 
boiled wiih indignaiioti at the recital; and "e, ihe represeniaiives , 
of tin West, ha\e refused to rebuild until the West arc heard up- 
on ttie question. 

Wi;li a knowledge of these facts, it ;ippears to me strange, that 
gentlemen, in advocating the a])|)i'0|, slimld dare to whis- 
per the word " bargain'' 1 heluxe, sir, no gentiem.Mi professed to 
think tliis was a bargain het'Aeeii the West aid C;ip'' F<ar; (»iit, sir, 
the slander was sanctioned by liie introduction of the pitiful vMt of 
newspaper scribblers into I lie debate. There is one precjous pro- 
duction that has l)een oveilooked. 1 Vv ill read it, sir, not because 
it alludes to myself ; were that all, "£ would pass it by as the 
idle wind v\hicli 1 legard not ;" but L-ecau.-e it may have a ten- 
dency lo injure the cause of Convention. 

Here Mr. P. read extracts from the letter, as follows i 
[Fiotn tlie Wesieiii Carolinian.] 

" Raleigh, Dec. 15, \ZZl. 

" Deab Sib : — The mcet'ng on tiie subject of lnu-rn;0 irnp.ovtment, irid ii> 
your town some weeks ag-o lius produced a very considenble striisalion in vjiious 
parts of the Stute — I liave just read an account of a vtvy respeclable meeting lield 
on ttie 26th iililmo, in Beaulort, at wluch several sensible and p:.ti'iotic resouions 
were passed fully responding to whai was done in Sal sbury, ioid W. Gaston, tlie 
rnembtr from Nevvbern, showed mt, a few liours .igo, a letver he had just re- 
ceived informuig him, that a large and highly respectable meeting was held in 
tha' town on the same subject." 

'■ On ytstenlay, iS the organ of the friends of the measure, Mr. Gaston intro- 
iluced " a bill fur incorporating the Nori h Carolina t;ei,tral [{ail road Company," 
He pn faced it by one of his happiest efforts, nui hnig, but impressive." ' ;Vfter 
the bill was re,.d and passed iu iirst reading, Mr. Pe .rson, of Itowin, got up and 
offei'cd a similar oill tor a !!ail-ro n from Fayeitevdle t- the Yadkin, so that if 
both suceed, the People of the West will be well otf for ways t" get to market. 
But the thing is too plain that both cannoi succeed, tho' we will hope othirv'ise. 
The pi-ople if that section will have to choose bitween the two plans, U'' a 
knowledge of all the facts, will not leave ihem long in a state of indecision." 

" I lie people of F ■y^lievillfc and on the Ca|;e Ft-ar, art verj j alousof Ihecen- 
tral Kiil-rnad scht me ; this is nut to be wondt i\ d at, but it is .. matter of surprise 
that intelligent men of tlie Yadsin coun'ies, shoud see things in the same nght. 
" Report hire, jays, that there is a combination ex sting between the great men 
on the Cap F>r, and some of the aspiring men in the West, — and, of course 
they act tnji ether on r;.il-roads as we'l as in politic^." 

"No news vet o! the CoiiventiDii qiiesio . The plan ot the Ex-Governor, and 
his eo of the West, is lo ket |j it . ff at this Ses ion If it c nns on, the 
Cape-Fear men v?ill vote gainst it almost to a man, and that will open the eyes 


of the West,— and, thus break up the "coalition." Report says it will be brought 
forward in ^ome shape or mhe . 1 hear a good ileal of talk about a eonipromise 
of t!ie qu' stion. '■ bel;e.'e i!i.' maderate men both of East and \V>:st, wish 
to see Ihe qiie.-.tion compiomised." 

Mr. Cliairinaii, if the iiitrndiicttiiii of a Cape. Feai- Rail-Road 
bill by a Wisteni man, is a proof of lOinbi nation in 1831. wonld 
tlie same fact, willi ihis differenre,, the oi.e proposes to incorpo- 
rate a com|iany, the other to call upon the Qcneral Governments es- 
tablish ;i combination in the yeiir 1828 ? By retcrrin?; to the 
Journals of '28. you \\ill see a resiiution introduced b^ Mr.Fisher, 
>from the town of Salisbui'y. in these words : 

*' Mr. Fisher |)rfseiilid tiie rollnwina; resolution : 

" Resolved by the General ^lisemb/y. That the Governor of the State be, and is 
hereby vequesi'^.i t - :Hld;:.s^ a i. ' rt i the President of thf Urdied Slates, respect- 
fully iisHh^ t/iai lie xuould order to this Slate a detachmentjrom the corps of Tupograph- 
ical Engineers, fortiie purpose uf makm.^ a survey witli tiie vieiv of ^ts^erl linLog 
the best line lor a Rail-Road from the town otFuyetli-viile to some point on the 
Yadldii, a'liove tiie i.aiiows, and from th Yi Ikm to tne C 'tawb i, so as to con- 
nect the vallies of the Catiwba and VaJkin ni'li the Cape Fear ; and also to make 
an estimate of ihe est nt erecting such Rul-Sna^l." 

So tbat I hive mei'ily foMowed in the footsteps of one who 
marked out the track lor me, merely pursued has, until now, 
been admitteil on all hands to be ti'.e sealed policy of the counties 
that tradi' With Fayettfiille. Really, sir, theevidence of combina- 
tion is so slitbl. iliai I am forced to iliiiik the writer was ind hted 
for the suggestion to a conscioiisness of his own iiifirmittj in this 
7vay. These are odd times. Men have grown wonderfully sus- 
picious, and I sliiiuld not besurinised to liear of a charge ofcotnhi- 
naiion between the great men of the East, and Mime a^spiring men 
of the Wesi. What would be the modus operamli by \vhi< ji to 
make out the charge ? Some tiie or six years ago, the project of 
a Central R.iil-Road was suggested, and supporieo wiih zeal and 
ability in the luimbers of Carlton — the idea was neglected, was 
suHercd to die away, was sneered at as the offspring of a feverish 
brain " that too much learning had made mad;" but, sir, when 
the VPil flames burst from yonder cajiital and ascended to the Hea- 
vens, a great liglit was spread aliro .d. Men fell, like Saul of 
Tarsus, to fix; grouni!. In a short time, a meeting is ^of up in 
Salisbury. It is respolided to from ihe sea-shore, from Newbern, 
from Rileigh. The "scales drop from their eyes;" tiiey see the 
true Light; and all agree that tiie Central Rail Road is the only 
tbiug ',0 save the Stale froisi ruin — some think, it is ihe only thing 
to save the Stale tlnisefroni removal. 

Mr, Chairman, let r nor be sujiposed, from what I liave said, 
that 1 am opposed to the Cejitral Rail-Riad. I v(»iod tor the iiill, 
and nothing tha: 1 could do ur say, shall be done or said u, defeat 
It. Vi ho can say what the energies of a peojile, wnen exciied by 
aproper iaduceiaeiii, may ntii effect^ The waters of liie lakes 


and Hic Atlantic have been made to mingle ; the distance between 
Oliio itiid the Clipsappak hus hein aimiliiUted; and who can tell 
bij( ill ten 01- fiffi'i! J cars Un Rouaii fanner, instead of lonkiiij; to 
Fayi'iteviMr or Cliei-aw fin .\ market, will he turned ar.iui.d, and 
be seen riding merrily al.r.i;; the Cenir il R.iil-Ro;id at the rate of 
15 utiles an hoiii-. M^y i live to see that day! li will only fuf- 
nisl; a lother' iiistaiieo thit j^ooii may come of evil, and that circum- 
stances in themselves slight, and got up fur other purposes, some- 
times lead to inipiii taut results 

In ihe cours:3 oi' my i-emarks, I trust I ha\e heeii able to satisfy 
the eoiiimiltee that a Convention is necssarv to remove the iiifqoali- 
ties of repiesentatioii, to facilitate the imi)roveinent of oui- we-,tern 
Connies, to a\oid the unnecissai'y exjiense of a large sum annual- 
ly, and to settle and remove the sectional questions that have long 
agitated our State. I now offer the amendment, and hope it will 
be adopted. Tlie a|)prehension of danger in calling a general Con- 
vention is idle. Are we repalslicans ? and do we fear to trust the 
pei'pie? The patient and qniit manner in which the citizens of 
the West have endured foi- many years, tiie iiieipialities of the ex- 
isting government, proves so forcihly their love of connlry and 
love of order, that it seems to be adding insult to injury, to say 
you are afraid t.'iey will run wild in Convention ! Depend upon 
it, sir, there is moie danger in vvithhnhlirig rig'U from a free peif- 
ple, than ill calling ihein together to consult about the redress of 

The CiOMcst between the Commons of England and their proud 
and illlaied M inarch Charles 1st, that ileluged tiie country with 
blond, ami convulsed witti anarchy and civil cmnmotion a long es- 
tablished government — our own revolution, that plucked from the 
Britisli crnvvri its fairest jewel, leach in language that cannot be 
nii-iaken, the danger of withh<ddmg rii^ht. i'hc loimalitie' of a 
long establisheil government, the magic wand of nabit, m.iy for a 
time sanciif) opjjression, but the peojde will in the end assert their 
rights. Let me not be understood to sise the langua;j;e of menace; 
fai lie it from me to intimate that our people will resort to revolu- 
tion. We do not present a stale of things, where the CMinmons 
are borne down and crushed both in civil and religious rights, by 
a proud King and haughty nobility where colimi-s and the mother 
couiili-y are divided by the Atlantic, and differ so widely in interest 
that reparation is inevitable. We are citizens of the same State, 
meiobi rs of the same family, our interests are identical, and, al- 
though tiie people of i he West never will cease to struggle for 
eqii/.li y, and must eventually prevail, they will prevail by the 
force of reason and justice — never by I'ivil coinmoiinii. fh • < une 
paiii>ii forbearance, tlie same love of coiinlcy aiid^love of order, 
that reader the apprehension ef danger of calling a Convention per- 

North Carolina State Library 

iectly idle, are siiffirient assurances fliat the people of the West 
never will irsoi't to vinleiire. But, sif. (lid 1 helieve tiie people to ^ 
be so coti'iipt: and disordiily, it was daiiajerinis to trust liiein in ^ 
Coinentioii, I should (reinble at the awful danger of withlioJding 
from Iheni rights, to wliiili tlic> know they are entitled. 

Mr. Long rose and spoke as follows : 

Mr-. Clraiiinan, the gentleman from Rowan stated that we 
had orcasiorrally given tliein a rrew courrty, but witli great rehic- 
tarrce and heart-lmrnings. Li't Us see h'lw far- facts will bear hira 
out in this assertion. That exiensive country West of R,(leigh, in 
the Congi'css of 1*76, was represented orrly by 10 conrrties : the 
Eastr'in pai-t of the State by 'Z6 ; makirrg in all 36 counties. At 
that date, the situatiim and policy of the State did not require a 
larger niimber of counties. 

Since tlierr, the Li'gislatiire has constantly been looking to the 
increased po(rulatiorr of the State. Tv\enty-ei.i!:lit irew counties 
have been formed; 17 of wirich are West of Raleigh, II East; 
And rrotvvithstairding the fact that wi' have never refused to grant 
any thing that they, iir justice, claimed — having elected their can- 
didates to office, given them an equal share of the honors and emo- 
luments of the State, still they say we have acted unjustly. With 
tliese facts befoi'e yon, take their rem^irks and "let them pass for 
■what they are Worth." 

The gentleman would have us believe that this is a struggle be- 
tween large and small courrties. There are more small counties 
in the East than in the West ; yet, if we w ere to introduce a bill for 
thedivisioir of some of our lai'ge couirties, placing them uporr an equa- 
lity with small ones as regards represerrtatioir, Westei'n gentlemen 
would fire at it. They would rally, ftnd vote against it to a toan. 
Yet till y tell us this is a struggle between large aud small counties, 
not in the Easi hut irr the West. TJwy cair introduce bills, Session 
after Session, for the division of tinir counties: this is right and 
just iir them. But if we in the, do noi go with them, they 
Com|ilaiir of us as being illiberal airrl ungenerous, "The heart o£ 
inair is deceitful above all tliiirgs." Here they coirdemn in us what 
they justify in themselves. Still they assert it to be a struggle be- 
tvvteii lai-ge and small counties. No such thing, sir. It is a strug- 
gle on f/iezr part for power, and though they do not inform us di- 
rectly, yet they tell us indirectly, that they will divide their large 
# counties, get a majority in the Legislature, call a Conveurion.mHke 
numbers tfie basis of representation, do away with freehold qualifi- 
cations, and have a Constitution to suit their own notions of Gov- 
ernment, regardless of the East. If such is not the fact, sir, why 
are ttrey sr) anxious to alter the Constitution — lo alter our nrode of 
Representation? Has an> county, or has ihe S afe at large expS" 
ri enced any great grievance, or inconvenience under it ? 

TheLe.fijislature, with paternal kindness and affection, has con-, 
stant'y lieeii lookinj; to ilie interests of the diff.reiit paits, niid tlie 
^ypclff' iif f!ir whole Stale. Its (ipecaiidiis bi'ingso jus, its l.twsso 
wliolesoiiie. iliat the enici'prizing and iiidusti-ioiis citizen becomes 
coiiseioHsorhis li\itie; iiMdei- (he j^oxcinnient, froin ibe fact lliat he is 
peiMJiiiied to attend to his avocatinns without the;htest iiitccrnp- 
lioii, Twenty-eii^lif new coonlies have been fDinied since the Con- 
gress of '76, that sat at Halifax ; and, wlienever'po(iiilatioti or ter- 
ritory reqoired a new county, it has been granted ; and now and 
then a county has been erected, wlieu neitlier population nor terri- 
tory rP!i(h'red it necessary. This is an argument that might be used 
in fax 01' of a Convention — but only suggested here to show how 
extremely anxious our representau'ves in the Legislature iiave been 
to gratify the Wants of the people, and to promote what'tli'ey cou- 
ceive to he the interest of the State. DiReient countie-, like differ- 
ent Stales, mav have <tiffeieni and peculiar interests, and require 
equal reprcscu'ation. Tlie counties situated near the sea-b .aid are 
widely different fioni those in tiie mountains. Thecounti of Wake 
is different fiom tiiat of Cumberland ; the jioorman of the former 
is dependent upon Raleigh for a market, which inarket is created 
by he Seat oCGo^ernment. Move the Seat of Government to Sa- 
lisbury, and yon blight the hopis of Raleigh, you destroy the pi'os- 
pect-i of (he poor man of Wake ; while Cumberland, unaffected by 
this act, remains siill (he same. Here, then, there are different and 
Conflicting interests that require equal representation. And in 
GUI' State there aic different interests witl> equal representation, 
that art as a chi'ck, creating a mutual dependency, closely cou- 
sultiiig tin- interesis of the different parts and welfare of the great 
polincal Community. 

Such a government looks tothe happiness of all its citizens, and 
is a !)''!ier f .1 ni o!' gover-nment than any that ambition or interest 
can siv. : nnd 1 hold it unwise and unsafe in us to barter it away 
" foi evils we know not (d'." 

I am aware, sir, (hat Westei'u gentlemen object to our present 
mode of ri-presen ration. Tiny vvotild like to have an altered basis, 
fouiided exclusively oji the white population. Tiiey are no doubt 
very siucer. ill their objections. The truth is, they want a major- 
ity in the Legislature ; and if these Rcsidutions should he lost, my 
word for it, the next session atfui-lhest, (hey v\iil introduce a'bill 
for 'he division of some of (heir couniii-s; not only conniving at, but 
giving their support to county jeprescntation, vvhiclithey now com- 
piaiii of as beiog '• unequal, unjust, and anti-repubiican in its ope- 
rations" So much for their professions. Biit, S!c, where tlir nc- 
ce^siiy of going into Convention to alt-^r county representation, i hat 
beii.g the greatest gi-ievance complained of — (gentlemen ma^ dis- 
guise the fact as th^y please)— It will cost the^Statc a considerable 

19 - 

amounf of money, which is quite uHncressary as (lie diflirulty miKht 
be sp'tled by tlie L ■sislutiiri'. We li.i%e t.lip light ir) r<'ii-<il;(lHte 
couiitic . iitxl mark out tlieic bouiidsiiies. l! is tni<' thi'se roictiies 
would viti'y in populaiion juid wealth. It iniist be so, fur the ti*ci- 
lidps ol' cnnimerrp and thi- gpngfaphira! situatinu of the cfuintry 
point to tills difference. But hj sucb an apixittionment, we snigbt 
look to taXHtinn and population united, or to federal iiiiinbeis, if 
yoo choose: and do away witii the ine(|uaiity cctnipiaiiied of, and 
gi\e satisfiictioii to the Wt st. But th^^y are '^'i'l anxi ".is to j2;oin- 
to Coiivpiilion. and though they say thej are jiprffctly willinii: that 
federal numbers shonid constitute the ba-is of lepresentntion, yet 
thecc woiihl he advocates that ihr wliii.' pii|iu!aii':M s'louli* i-.lme 
and (xcluisively form the basis of represmtaiioti. They would go 
a little fuifher, and do awnj with frpelM'li! qualificaiion m the Ge- 
neral Assembly ; lay dow n the broad masim that go\etnment 
should have an interest in property — hut that prope'tj should 
have no interest in the go^erninent. Sir, proiierty is one of the 
main [lillass which supjiorts this government No government 
'*' can exist without revenue, and no revenue cati be created withmit 
propei-ty. Will you then place it under the rontrol of those who 
have little or no interest in it ? Their minds so much poisoned'^ 
against the holders of prop.rty, that they would impose onerous 
taxes contrary to our notions of right ijind virong, giving to lUim- 
bers that control over property which was never intended in the 
formation of the Government. 

For a government founded upon correct principles is under 
greater obligations 'o protect property than numhers : the diffi- 
culties in the protection of the (tne are infinitelv greater ilian in 
the pn)tecti/>n of the other. Tiie stioug arm of [lower can pro- 
t'',ct itself. Property never can. and unless taken under the pro- 
tectioii of tiie government, is exposed to all the avarice, cuiiidityj 
and villainy of man. It does seem to me that l)y reason of man's 
being indebted to his mother eaith for all the comforts, luxuiies, 
and enjoyments of life, that there is an obligation created, which 
points to a landed interest ; that the framers of our Cons'ituiion 
thought so, is cleaily deduced from the fact that we are nor enti- 
tled to aiieathere witliout the freehold qualification specified b> the 
Constitution. Tlien, if there be a man in this Assembly with- 
out that freehold qualification he has violated liis oatli, and is 
clearly not entitled to his seat. They sa.\ bj refusing to go into 
Convention, we withhold from ihem certain rights— the right to 
tax property, as proposed bv a bill introduced in the co-ordinate, 
branci' of tliis Legislature, suggesting the propriety of taxingslaves 
to d' fray ilie ex|»enses of sending free negroes to Liberia : a right 
which those who liavi' little or no interest in property will ever 
"^exercise when they can claim power as their own. The. Wesiv 


Have a majority of white poptilation in the State ; ami *hey would 
cliiiin for that in:ijoi'it} tiio I'isjht of sulfta,^"'. inilcpcndeiit of ffle- 
ral •lumbers, oi- laxvitimi and p:ipiilritioti united; :iii(l for the pur- 
po>c of I qtializiiis leiireHeiitaliou here, luid inHkiii:;' the onvile^i'S 
of iveiy person equal at home. Yet tlieie are certain [ier>ioiis 
■wbiiiii iliose gentlemen would not onlj' exrlude from a seat intMs 
House, but in the Senate; they would nor pi'imit them to sit, on 
the bench, and preside over oiu" courtsi, nor AOiild they suffer them 
to art rts jurors. 'I'hey would exclude them from the ria;ht of suf- 
frage, (the noblest piixilege exercised under oui- form of govern- 
meiit,) If matters not v\ hat their qiialificattous were. So niiich 
foi- their sytsem of equality. This rijjbt exists either in extenso, 
or tint at all. If it hi- just that every indi> iduil should be entitled 
to the same prixilej^es in the js;oveintrient, then it is iM.s!;bt the mioor 
should possess the sa^me vveiy;ht as a man of mature and lawful 
age ; the woman to all the influence of the minor, making them 
equal and the same. Tbis would be an evil which we wmild se- 
riously deprecate, and which { bii|ie it will never be our mist'or- 
tune to witness. Pro|)ert> has now weight and influence in the 
governmetit, and if it should ever Itise that weight and iiifluence, 
■we may bid adieu to those principles of jns'ice and equ iliiy of 
■which the friends of reform talk so inuch. In the discussion of 
this question we are not to look at vvliat we conceive to be the 
natural rights of man, and give to tliem an important bearing up- 
on the final decision of 'he subject ; for it has been questioned 
■whether man ever existed in a natural state. It is not my pur- 
pose, on this occasion, to enter into a long and utetaphjsical dis- 
cussion with a view of establishing the fact that he has or has not 
existed in a natural state. But sutfice it to say, that in the agita- 
tion (if these resolutions, the final issue should iTSt upon the broad 
grounds (if policy and exjiediency. From ihis view of the case, 
propei'iy ought to have an interest in the government, ai,id no 
man need fear any thing from its influence; for if the government 
should protect property, the interest of every man is looked to. 
And the projjerty of the jioor man, though it only amounts to fifty 
doUars in *alue, is as mucli protected as the property of the rich 
man, es'imated at thousands. And the property of the poor, in 
the aggregate, amounts to more than that of the wealthy ; and 
whenever taxed in tlie diff"i rent proportions, it takes as much from 
the one as the other; and no just man, if he be intelligent, will ever 
inurmu'' against such an attribute in the government. But strip 
prop-rty of its influence, and wiiere is the man who believes that 
the interest of every class of society would be as well pro'ected as 
now ? Where is he who can point to .m acr oppcessive upon the 
po(.t nusn ^nd noi the rich I But nu-'u< pr-peety if irs influence — 
Your Jegislaturea would be crowded with demagogues — the^i'ded/ 


appetite of ambition never satiated, iier clieeka never rrimsoned ; 
fii ■(! by -.III iiiih(>l> spirit wliirh glories in ilic do-xcfiill <>! llie 
gieHi, and des|iise ilie lortuiiivie tlint indusii-y and erononiy li ive 
aiciiinulaind. not tliat iiate whirli tlic t;enermi.s feel toward, llie 
sordid, but ;i fuiit and uialiciiiii3 hate, envying the possessions iif a 
lil)> ral and honest man, acquired iiy tlie labours and tfTni-ls of a 
liff spent ill the servir." of his cmmiry. There is. sir, Hiid J say i 
it wittf deep regret, a diss of politicians in our day and land, by* 
this vei'v afcuised inOuenre, ccnistantly striving to pois<in the 
minds of the poor a.«;aiiist the ricii, pr=tendin.!; lo rrgird th m as 
wishing to subvert the liberties of the country ; as thuugli they 
had no inli-rest in coinmrm with tlie community. 

Sir, the opulent man is hs warmly devoted to the intei'est of his 
country as the indig^'iit man, and would give his life equally as 
soon to p' riietuate hei- freedom. I accord the same noble and pa- 
triotic feeling to tlif poorest man in rhristendoin. It alike plays,^ 
be;)ts, swells and burns rn the heai'ts of all men who love tlieii- 
country. And whenever such a ptditician is to be met with, 
spreading this dangerous contagion, he oii^ht to be branded with 
infamy. Call a con»ention, crowd it with .sucti men, they would 
maki- nnmiiers the b.isis of representation — and away with free- 
hold qualification for ihe Ginnal A isembly. Your Legislatartj 
would impose hea^y taxes, increase the perdiem of its members to 
enable them to pass through the streets of your metropolis i-oUing 
in luxury. Sir, 1 do not say such would be tlie inevitable conse- 
quences of society being thus coovci'ted into its original elements. 
But that we are inipi'lled on^\ard by a si'ose of duty lo pievent it. 
The surest and best way lo guard against it will be to refuse to go 
into Convention. The resolutions on your table propose to alter 
cinintyr presentation, as prescribed by the second and third articles 
of ne constitution, which constitmioii I liave been tauglit to pevcr- 
eme. and have sworn to sujiporr, and will snpj)ort until amended, 
or a new one shall be formed and ratified hy the peo|)le. 

This Convention is to be composed of 119 deiegiites ; 54 from the 
Eastern part of tlie State, includln;^ the Cape Fear ; and 65 from the 
West ; a iliff-' ence of 11 delegates in favor of the latter. It is ra- 
moured out of doors, tiiat a part of Vie Western delegation are dis- 
eatisiied with the plan su;i;gested by these resolutions ; and it is urged 
here that in a spirit of geni^rous compruniise they have conceded too 
mucli. What have they conceded sir ? A restless minority in the 
Legislature, with great caution, and perhaps midnight calculation, 
have gratuitously given tlieraselves a majority in Convention, regard- 
less of the mode prescribed by the Constitution. If such a disposition 
is evinced in the onset of this measure, is it not an unfavorable omea. 
of a milder spir t in Convention ? Tliese resoiutions propose a limited 
Cuni eniion. What Legislature vesied with the raanilafes i)f ihe com- 
munity, can control the power of the people ? The West liave a ma- 

joiiiy of defeKates in Cnnvenfion : lue the great body of the peoph-M'J. 
semblcil t igetlier, in-triict oxir dole^ates to go farthef. 'ri\ey do so, 
and form a (''istitution de novo. The people rat'iFy iv. Where is the 
poi'erthat dire impugn it ! It is their own constitution ; none can 
destiny it but the povy-r tliat form.'d it — the people; Your Lejjisla- 
tive n.strfcti^i is bujt.ilie mere shadow, shovvino; itself at the will and 
.motion of the siibt^tahce. Memorial affer meuioi lal would crowd- 
vji{j.qn th*^ table of your Convention, until not even a vestige of the con- 
stitinion. consrcnited by the blood of our lathers, would be left, The 
hope, t'iiit clings to the hear^ of the shipwrecked oiariner, who, with 
struggling strength, clenves to his last plank — is rescued from us. — 
All. ill is lost, in a tusnultuous ocean of passion: 'he constitution,, 
defact'd — torn asunder by each coaflicting wave of interest. Yet, 
sir. it may be urged tha'. 'vhe'ievcr a convention is talked of, we in 
the East with ^reaf warmti^ of feeling and patiioiic devotion, eulogize 
the cliiiracters of our f(trefathers, and swear by the constitunon they 
have 2;iven us. I!, from hearts, overflowin;; vvith gratitude we should 
differ from our Western brethreo, aod think H>at they have given us 
a constitution as good, or better than would be given in convention,, 
surely no good man will blame us for paying a tribute of passing res- 
pect to their memories. 

Is it no*, Mr. Chairman, somewhat remarkable, that an argument 
which carried vvith it so little weighi, in 18-21. should have occasioned 
so unny bold assertions of its biing destitute of strength ? Actions 
point to the inward feelings of the heart and tell the truth. Words 
represent the doubts and fears of the n>ind, the cunning and intrigue 
of the man. The argumeni certainly carries weight. Western gen- 
tlemen knev.' it, or they would not theii have made so many eftor s to 
weaken it. They felt its all-powerful influfiice, and had as well have 
attempted to discard from their minds the wild phantoms of the imagi- 
nation, as th'.^ argume;n that fixed itself upon tlisir souls, and ordered 
hope to '-down a^ its biddjiig." The gentleman from Rowan argues 
in favour of a Convention, and against the constitution because defec- 
tive. I mean no very Jrreat disrespect to this body, when I humbly 
assert, that the framers of our constitution, po.-sessed as much good 
sense as we do, o; as the members of a Convention woulil ; and just 
emergi !g from the oppression of the old world, they were fired by a 
a love of country, which feeling now slumbers io our bosoms (or the 
•wan' of that stimulant winch give a aenerous impulse to their actions. 
Inspire'! with so much ardour, animated by so much zeal, by exam- 
ples of pure devotion for the priucii)les of freedom, they entered the 
Congress of ',76. and with a feeling common to all its members, de- 
spising the overbea'ing and vindictive spirit ol England, jealous of 
their rights, they could not, nor would not submit to false and servile 
loyalty. Well tley knew that the uoion of the people, an<l the pios- 
pp.'ity ol the St. ,"e depended uion t!ie constitution liev should form ; 
coiiS' quenily, idl their enerat atid all their -patri'tisni were gve- to 
thav end. And vet, -ir. i* .nay be nrged that they were attaclied to 
the principles of the British Government, and regarded the constitu- 


itioD of Eng;l;ind as the best under the sun. Still they have ^iven us a 

^GOU'titutioft wi'lely differing from that very Giiv,-!nment, we may be ^ 
tolil " ey Afire so liiuch attached to. And all the effm ts that gentle-' ^it" 
men may ui:ike to weaiieii our faciliiii the Governine'it, or dstiruy our 
coiifiilence in the wisdixn ;uid patriotism of tho^e brave and gallant men 
who fought for their lives, liberties and coutiirj', will prove aLHirtivei 

I The charter they have given us is tiie gieai " bulwark of our liber.y," 
the people are satisfied with it 5 and nothing out a restless and dis- i 

contented spirit in the pur>uit of power will destroy it, or render ^ 

them dissiitis&fd wish tht'ir prc^sent situation. 

But says the gentle. nan from Rowan, the constitution is defective j ^ 
an argument ss much against, as 111 favor ol a Convefitiou ; for caiia; 4 
Conve ition give us a constitution net d.'feciive ? This argumeiit, if ■ 
acted upofl, would lead to Couventioa after Ceuventioii ; it would ex- 
haust your revenue, and keep alive a political exciteiueat that might 
involve us in quarrels and difficuliies wiiich would exist as long as we 
are a people. We know the constitution is dei'ective : for tbe satis- 
faction of tiie West we admit it. The language of experience con- 
firms the belief on the ration:;! mind (hat a f^onstiiutiou foime't for 
the civil governinent of man, by inaH, must be ilefeciive. h.'.: g^B- 
tlemen then, point us to the insufterable Icavures oftheconstitution, and 
we will eflect a remedy. 

Efforts may be madi^ to poison our minds ugainst the constitution, 
by reference to the circumstances under whicii it was formed — the 
habits and education of our forefathers — their fondness for tiie British 
Government. 1 ask what were the circumstances under which it was 
formed ? The Coininoui^ of Great B itain deemed it right to tax them. M 
without their consent, but they refused to subaiit to it. - 

Whenever power attempts to control property, it is infringing oa 
the rigl.ts of men, whose notions, of indepL'ndi^nce will not brook in- 
sult or yield to htwless tyranny. It was a wish for control over pro- 
perty which first gave rise to the Revolution, which estabiisiied tiie 
American Republic, and brought into existence the Consricaiioti now 
under discussion. Our ancestors would ntit succuiiib to such anjust 
taxation. The Commons of Great Britain claimed the right t.) tax 
them ; to ^lispose of the pioceed.-i arising ti>erefrom as tiiey t.iought 
best ; yet to allow us no voice in their councils. Tiie British King 
had many a good and loyal subject in our lai.d | and we might stiU 
havt* been his vassals, if the greedy appetite of avarice had not car- 
ried him too far. But, sir, there is.a poiut beyond whicii " torOear- 
ance ceases to be a virtue." ' England went beyond that point — the 
Colonies could no longer forbeai ; aild^:his caused a iong, a trouOle- 
some, ai.d a bloody war, which ended in our triump^i. The consti* 
tution then was formed during a period when our torcfath.-Ts were 
jealous of tiieir rights ; wmi} their fortunes, l!berti>-s and lives tui-ned 
upon the uncertain issue of the Revolution. Think you, ^sir, that m -n 
whi) were stiug^ding for their indepnidincf, wiio knew iio'Vt: ip- 
pieciate it, — from the difficulties that surrounded theai. u-.ih .:hc 
Jolood nobly spilt ,in its defence, aifQuldhave.givea us a consmution 


repugnant to (lie principles of freedom, obnoxious to the coun- 
try. Gil look to ilie d;ite of your constitution, tiie number of 
years vvhicli have passed away since its birth — to that feeling up- 
permost in the bosom of every American citizfu, ami then give to the 
question a negative response. But, sir, the gentleman from Rowan, 
Ml. Pearson, asserts that the constitution was intended as a tempo- 
rary building. He would h;ive u- believe it was to have been taken 
down and rebuilt at some convenient season. 

Our inhabitants have lived under this temporary building for 55 
years, and they have never deemed it wise or prudent to take it down 
and build it anew. May tiiat wisdom and prudence which have so long 
preserved it, still continue lo preserve it from the greedy appetite of 
avarice — from the strong grasp uf ambition. Bui let us suppoie, for 
argument's sake, that it was intended as a temporary building, does it 
prove any thing in favor of a Convention ? Suppose, after its adop- 
tion, it assumes an aspect far more beautiful and lovely than its au- 
thors had dreamed of; — suppose, from the beauty of its features, its 
strength and "just prop >rtions" it won the c )nfidence of the people, 
does not that fact cany with it incontrovertible proof of their willing- 
ness to live under it ? And tiiough it was intended as a temporary- 
building, still it is no argument in favor of a Convention. Mr. 
Chaivnitin, if good luck or ciiance should throw in a man's way a large 
fortune, would you not regard him a* a madman if he were to reject 
it merely because he had not acquired it " by the sweat of his 

And so will wise and experienced statesmen regard us if we con- 
sent to the de-.truction of our good constitution, merely because it 
■wa- intended as a temporary affair, to be taken down and rebuilt at 
som<» convenient season. Will you destroy the constitution, because 
impertecT and attended by some few inconveniencies ? fur such is 
the nature of our system that it can never be perfect. We must al- 
ways labour under certain inconveniencies, as it is impossible to form 
a governmeift equal in all its parts. The advantages of a Conven- 
tion might not over balance the evils that would follow. The framers 
of our constitution possessed as much sterling worth of character and 
good sound practical sense, as we do, or as the members of a Con- 
vention would. Then, as there is little or no probability of the con- 
stitutinn.being bettered in Convention, the whispers of caution guard 
us against it. It is true, the constitution was tormed during a period 
ofjireat trouble and general excitement; and though it was formed 
under excitement, and sanctioned in haste, — though the war-bugle 
blew its Shrill notes through our land, and turmoil and commotion 
reigned within, still we regard it as a happy moment, pregnant 
with tne prosperity of the State, that brought into existence a con- 
stitution protecting the interest of every class of society — point- 
ing to the glory of our forrf,;thers and the fame of its autnors. — 
Gei flemen may insinuate as much as they please, that the consiiiu- 
tionis the creature of circumstances and not tlie result of wisdom and 
reflection ; still, we regard those circumstances as the most fortui- 


tous and happy. A moment, luck}', indeed ! that brouslit into 
existence a constitution giving to its citizens so much hapji -ss, a 
happiness and tranquillity, that they liave lo'^g enjoyed without the 
slightest inteiTuptinn. — We may proudly compare our constitution 
with all that we know of other governments, and bright liopfS will 
break in upon our minds in spiie of all the misfortunes of life — all 
the casualties that have ever happened to empires in different periods 
of the world. We may compare her with the once wretched hep- 
tarchy of England. How bright her glory! We may compare her 
with the turbulent and factious democracies of oMen times : Hovy 
beautiful ! how serene her aspect ! We fay compare her with Mex- 
ico, awfully convulsed. How smooth the tide of her prosperity! We 
may compare her with the Republican soveniment nf France ; and 
themlelighted we'll gaze upon the sun of our liberty! We may compare 
her with all Europe! and "here she is" inastateot infinitegrandeur ; 
and the sons of its authors exclaimi-.g fiom the gladness of their full 
hearts, "this is our own, our native snil" Yet, what a restles> tr^a- 
ture is man ! the great God of nature seems to have "endowed him 
with a discontented spirit never to be satisfied with h;s pre-ent situa- 
tion, howevi^r comfortable it may be Here is a government, so far 
as practicable, has accomplished the very end for whicli it was cre- 
ated. We have enjoyed tor ii numb>'r of years, almost uiiititerrupted 
happiness; still dissatisfied, we are willing to commence a crusade 
against the government, to enlist under the banneis of reform, and 
destroy the constitution. Will you be deluded by " fancy's sketch," 
and permit prospects of new joys and hopes to crowd upon the mind 
that are destined to perish in reality ? 

Let us remain content with the constitution ; it is as good, proba- 
bly, as the wiailoo) of man can make it; and our being disco'itented 
under it is no argument against it. For such are the peculiarities 
of 'lur nature, that if we were to go in Ccmvention to-morrow and 
frame a new constitution, it might meet with a warm and welcome 
reception from an admiring communitv ; bui, perhaps in theourse of 
a few fleeting 3'ears, many would object to some of its best features, 
and anxiously wish a change. There are ■'ome few objectio'.is to the 
constitution, but these objections when viewed as instrumenrs to con- 
trol property, to get power to bring abouf a political excitement, and 
thereby convulse the State to hervery centre, are in my mind as light 
and as trivial as they are few. 

I am unwilling then to trust tlie constitution to a Conventom ; to 
be sported with by the genius of reform or something worse — a spirit 
of innovation. The fundamental principles of our government will 
not change with time or circumstances ; they are '"fixed and unaltera- 
ble," thougii liable to be abused by the whim of some factious leader 
or aspiring demagogue, whenever an opportunity shall present itself. 
And permit me here to remark, sir, that I believe there art as many 
demagogues, ranting demagogues in North-Car'dina, in proportio" -co 
her population, as in any Stale in the Union. T ey are const.intly 
working upon the ignorance, passions and prejudices of the people, 



keepino;up a delusion fatal to the reputation of Die State abroatl, bef;,. 
cause .^seii'ial Id their aggramlizemcnt at home. W.ll they know, 
that if merit vveie ti'.'ilc t'e true te>it of proiuoiion, their siar oC iiope 
would n VI r again glimmer in !he political horizon. Call a Conven- 
tion, cv wd it wiih such Tpen, and we may bid adipu to ihe prosperity 
we e; jiy — the consli ution we now boast of. The unrighteous hand 
of innovation would make an inroad upon its fundamental principles. 
Knuwing (lie !'fFe( I of the spirit of innovation upon olher n^publics ; 
with i tluse examples, fatal ex:imples, will you still continue to pur- 
suf this false phantom, vvhich may cause the government to run into 
a (leoiocracy ; conducting us onward to ruin and despotism. We may 
sport with bul)bles on 'he waters, they can only evaporate into empty 
iiothingn ss, but let us make no experiments upon the constitution : 
'tis fraught v.'ith danger ; 'tis -purting "ith the welfare of every man 
in the < ommunity ; 'tis big with the fate of a "mighty empire'." —'S in the constitution di'Stroy the confide'ice and affections of tlie 
people in their government; it prepares them for faction and war. As 
reii;irds he coiomnn transactions of life, objects and things, the heart of 
man tuny be '•- fickle anil inconstant as folovear.y thing thatis new ; and 
so with giive'-nment. When the Legislature is constantly dazzliiiivthe 
peofile with newsi;liemes,--hol(lingtiithem,as if with .i magic wand, play- 
ful iiopes if promised happiness ; pnidencp conilemnssuch a course. As 
regarfls oui State, the affections of the people ought to be fixed ; and 
can only lie fixed when the bi'lief is thoroughly est;abli-hed on their 
mindn, rliat the constitution under which they live, is uniform and per- 
manent in 'ts operations. 

Do yoo establish such a belief by going into Convention ? No, sir, 
yoii-d stroy it ; yni vveaken their confidence in the government ; yoti 
prepare them !or violence and revolution. Would that I could ex- 
press my opinions in " thoughts that breathe and wonls that burn"— 
they shonid ring in the ear of every man ; " the high ami the low. the 
rich atid tiie poor ;" and their hearts should ""leap with joy" in the 
proud ri flection of having given their support to this, our Constitu- 
tion ! 

Mr. OuTiAw rosp and said, 

Ml'. Cii (innaii, it is with reluctance I rise to address 
this htnly (in atij Mibject, and it is with diffidence that I undertake 
tlie i'iiM'ossiiin of this. 1 1 is one of a grave and serious nature, and 
cali.i tip'iii IIS for grave, dis|)assioiiate and sober investigation. 
Upon it- derision depends not only tlie interests of ns who ar*" now 
dis'-iKsiiii^ it, and of those v\lioin we represent, but it may involve 
till- !oipr."^ts of those yet uiihorn. In the discussion of this subject, 
I 'all studiously avoid, as far as it'- exciting nature and my own 
m-ihii- t)f fi n»peraineti* >vil! admit, every tliint; which may becaicu- 
!»■ -li to wKieii '-lil' ni'ire the Ine-rli, aliich it is vain to conceal and 
id'' o deny ei^isi- -iinong us. For, sir, I liave seen too mucii evil 
givi". ou' of the exciteniCiit jirndiiced i)y violent speeches, ;iiid too 
little good, to be desirous of making one myself. There was, how- 



- « ver, a. remark made by the .gentleman from Rowan (Mr. Pearsoa) 
4 which a sense i>f srif resiiert will iioi |u»r'fii'l me t- pi-i- over in 
sileiict". That '.';eiitlpinaii •^efmctl to supjiosi* there was bu^ on-' in- 
dividual eas' nfii .s;iven liiir (ilic js;eiitii'i!i,iii tVoiu Nnwhc?!!. whom 
I respi-ri and venerate as much ay that geiitleinan) wtio was u;ov- 
erriod by liberal jirinriiiles in iiis course here; iiay, sir, iiotcoo'ent 
with t'lis. he went on further to say, that even lie iniuilii tiave lieen 
cotitaiainaied by the nari'nw and crontracied spiii? of tliosi- with 
whuni he was acting:;. I heard this di'claration with pain a'\d ri-,to- 
nishment. Hov.' far it is consistiMit wiih justice — uitii charity, and 
with truth, I leave to the seiitieman's own conscience and \\i!h tiie 
Coinuiiitee to determine. 

Sir, is there any such mastic in an imaginary line, as that virtue 
and patriotism can exist oly on one side of it ? By what autimrity 
is it, tliat the gentleman fr^im Riwan has erected hims'^lr into a 
tribunal to settle questions of liberality, and mails himself the 
standard ? I will not retort, that tlieie is no libera! man in the west 
— I will not be so unjnst; and if I were, sir, it wmld be a pc lof 
that my folly was to be equalled only by my jiresuiuption. 

The gen'leinan informed he Committee tiiat tise Constiuiion of 
North-Cariilina was intended for a mere tempurary puipose. N uv, 
sir, so far ;ts the intentions of the fr-iuiers nf ihat instriiiuen' can 
be xitlieiwd from the insti-ument itself, 1 deny vhis to be tir.' fact. 
Is tliere any provision fur iis aiferaiiioi or ameadiiienr ? I^ 'h'-re 
any provision for calling a Convention? Neither — indeed, it would 
seem, that by having given to t!ie Legisl.iture the jiower .if n-ect- 
ing new counties when the public necessities rfqi;iied tiiem, and 
making counties the basis of icpieselitation, tlie Conventioi- inend- 
ed to guard, as far asluiman wisdom and foresight could — "aye, sir, 
to take a bond of fate'*^ — against i-ashand reckless innovation. 

I dcT not wish to be understood as saying that no emicgency, 
however pressing — no grievance, !jov\ever great, would Jnsiify the 
peojile of Nortli-Caroiina in amending their fundementiil lav/ But 
this i d" say, and it is the dictate of common sense and cmn mom 
prudence — the Convention intended^ tiiat nolhing short of the nost 
undeniable and overruling necessity should jn-ompt us to emljirk 
in such a li.tzaidous, possibly minous enterprize- Those mr-n -.vere 
too wisi-, sii', not to know, that we are the creatures of liabit, and 
tha' time and necessity would reconcile us to even the defirts of 
our system. 

It hiis been Justly and happily remarked by a distinguish'^d ora- 
tor and statesman, that you might as well introdiu ■ into the mar- 
riage C'iiitraci,a provision for div urce, and tiius p.ns'iii at its source- 
the grea' fountain of imman happiness, as to providi' for periodi- 
cal a ncrnlments of j-nir Consiitution, wliicb so.«e gentlemen sup- 
pose is so desirabh'i Bui, sir, is there any emergency, any ovec- 
I'uling necessity for a change ? 


The gentleman fi'firn Rnwan has told us, there is inequality of 
repiesiMitatinn. and 1lia' ci|iialify of pulitical influence asid [lower 
is one of the natural I'lgtits of man, and essential to liberty. I de- 
ny rlie correctness of (his ptisi'ion. So far as a state of nature is 
concprned, if we can conciive of such a stafe, the majority have 
no more right to govern the minoi'ity, than^the minority have to 
govern the majority. Neither has thtt right, and however beauti- 
ful this principle may be — however well suited for declamation, — 
tliat all men have equal political power, it is a mere abstraction ; 
it iii'vei' has been, never can, and never will be carried into prac- 
tical operation. I ask you, sir, wliere is the Government where 
this principle is praciirally adopted ? Is it to be found in any of 
the State- of the Union ? Is it lo be found in the Government of 
the United States ? No, sir, you look for it in vain in any of the 
Republics which have gone before us, and if it ha\e a name, "it 
has no local habitation." That it is probable that tlie majority 
have the physical power, may be true, but 1 imagine it will liardly 
be contended here in the United Slates of America, in the 19th 
ceniury, that mere bi'Utal force cotistitutes rightftil pcnver. The 
Government under which we live, is tiie result of a compact, a 
bargain if gentlemen please, since that term has become quite fa- 
niiiiar here of late : the Constitution is the evidence of tliat bar- 
gain, and the bond to enforce its perff)rmance. The people East 
and West, North arid South, have entered into it. and must be 
content to abide the issue. Governtnents, sir, all Governments 
are the result of agreement, and riot of natural righis. The natu- 
ral rights of Government is an absurdity — no one ever heard of the 
natni'al rights of Government. 

But, says tlie gentleman from Rowan — repi'esentation by cotni- 
ties is the moat absur-d basis possible. Now, sir, with due defer- 
ence to that gentleman, I think it will appear, upon examination, 
not to be quite so absurd as he supposes. What is the object of 
Government? It is to protect every man and every interest in the 
community. How is this to be done ? By having eacii interest as 
veil as each individual represented. That different parts of the 
country have peculiar and distinct interests, cairnof be denied. 
The gold iirter est in the western part of the State is very different 
from the cotton interest. Why is it. sir, that your Borougiis are 
represetrted here? Not on account of their wealth, neither on ac- 
coutit of their extent of tertitor'y — But because their interests v\ere 
snp|»osp(i to be commercial, and therefore distinct from the other 
gieat interests of the Stitte. 

Tiie gentleman Iron) Rowan has admitted the Contitution was 
the res'ilt of compromise. Of 'his thei'e can be no question. Our 
fathers sujipn ed, fiiat by county representation, the wishes, the 
feelings and interests of all would be heard and felt here. They~ 


therefore adopted that plan. It is in my opinion an a<!mirable fea- 
ture in iiur system — one founded in wisdom .ind sound poiii y. 

We are liirthiT told, sir, tliat oer Lei^islatnre has b'-eii iliilierul, 
and it is time tlic steptie flepacted tVom its toothe.- hands I pi'C- 
tcnd not to be very I'amiliar with ydur Lei!;islative history — but 
since I have attended to it, I hare not Witnessi-d any snch iliibe- 
raiity. Sir, who am your Senators in Congress ? They ai'e West- 
ern men. Who is your Gr:ivei-nor ? Me is from the extreme West. 
Who are your Judges ? at least those who havi- been ajjpointed of 
late years. They are. sir, fithi'r Western men themselves, or iden- 
tified with Western interests. The West has partiripateil in an 
equal degree witli tlie Ertst, not only in the emoluments and hon- 
ors of ilie Government, but in the distribution of the public mo- 
neys. But I may be tolil. we do not fas luir constituents to make 
turnpikes and rail-roads fui' the West, i know sir, the fashionable 
cant on this sid)ject, and I am aware that any man wbosliall avow 
his opposition to this system, suitjects biiT>self to tl?e imputation of 
illiberality. If, ho«evt'i-, even this should be the result, I must 
deny the expediency of this system. It is vain and idle for Govern- 
ment to undertake to remove the inequalities wiitch the God of na- 
ture has made in different \>dvys of the country, and wliicli notiiing 
siiort of Alinislity power can remove. If we have intt taxed out* 
people to make improvements in tlie West, neitiier iiave we done 
so to make tliem among ourselves. Sorely we cannot be tiien call- 
ed illiberal, and if we are, the charge is iinfoniided. 

But, Mr. Chairman, is not tiie power more safely lodged wliere ' 
it now is, tiian it could possibly be elsewbece? Whenever we tax 
the West, we must inevitably lax ourselves to a greater degree, 
since we pay mncU tlie largest portion of the reveiuie. This 
is the security they have against an abuse of our pow- 
er ; this is the only security whicli any community can have 
— those who impiise the taxes are responsible directly to ilnise 
who have to pay mucb the largest portion of ih'-in. But I tnay be 
told, the West would likewise liave to tax themselves. That is 
true to a certain extent, but possibly (I do not say they would) 
they wmild be willing to bear the burliien, that tbey might after- 
wards devour the whole loaf. Permit me, sir, to illustrate my idea 
by an example svhicli comes {)at to tlie purpttse. The western 
Stales of this Union, although, but little interested in Manufac; 
tures, are yet willing to hear the burtiiens the tariff imposes, in or- 
der to have vast sums of money expeniled in Internal Improve- 
ments. Sir, liere is an example staring us jn tlie face, and are 
there not certain great principles of action of universal application, 
anil v\hi(h will produce the saine results w lietliei* tlie subjects upon 
which they operate live here or beyond tiie mountains? 


But, sir, there is one siu'cies of xui' property, tlift tax on wliicli 
Hii.T!it l>e msxlcexccoiliiii^iy rsiinous. Tin' poll-tax in ilifTtM-ent (lai-ts 
of t'li- S ate is .-vfii itow s!arii)!i;lv unequal. I will tike one exam- 
ple Hinong; otiie!'^. By l!ie rt'solutioim ixi your tabl'\ tjie cuiniies 
of Buike asid Buuroriue. ;in- o havi- six i-cpi-esf'n!;iMvi'M. tlii' fuuu- 
ty of Briie two. I'lie feiliMMl po|Milati>M ■>[' tiie r<)i-inei- is 'ipwaids 
of 0.000. that of thi- lattee uiiwai-ds of 9,000. Yer, sir, the cmin- 
ty of B"i til' pays iien-ly, ai- quite as much pail tax as bo'h of them, 
or, in other words, pays neai'ly three liiir.dred per cetvt. moi-e tax ac- 
coidioa; to its popu! -tinu. Have w uotliiis!^ to a;)pri'Ueuf! imi this 
suhjeci in tln^-r d lys of caut au'l fan iticism ? Is t'lere not at tliis 
iiioinrrit, a prupitsirioii before anoihri' branch .vf ( le Le^isl ifure, to, 
remove the tree nei^roes hy taxitiu; Slaves? ^ir-, [ h'-lieve tiie SVi-st 
to be as patsinlic. as aiai^naunuous as the East. Gurl t'lriiid that 
I should be so uM(',hafitai)le as to believe othe-wis;-.. But they are 
not more iio ; foi- all commuuities, taken as eommr.nltie^, are actu- 
ated by interest I am not willins; to trust my |)n>perty, or that 
of my rotistifuents, (o the generosity or uian-nanimity of any ti^idy 
of mei! whatevei-. Faii'i is not '"oe of the articles of my political 
creeil. hnwever essential i' uny be in a civ\h\ of another dcsiM-ip- 
tioti. Ii IS true, as individuals, i migiit appe-.t!, ani! .ippeal suciessful- 
ly to lUrU fi'eli!!a;s. But the ^Vest, acting as acomuiunity, a:-c like all 
other communities, ^md woiiid be mncli itiore likelv to consult their 
inter''sts than uiy MMUanlic riotioos of genero-:iiy or honor. 

We are furtlier iuromied. that a Convention is necessary to quiet 
the excitement which pevails in fdis cnmmniiity, whicii divides the 
Lcgislbtnre, and n ill continue to ^;i\ idv'" the Stale. Will if have that 
effrcl ? We fiu'i the |i,eiitlciii;ui from Uowari is not convent with 
the resolutions introdiiccii hy (lie gentiefnan from Macon, lie tells 
you iliey concede too much — ciiat tin- p-ooh' nf the vVesr \,vill nnr he 
satisfied witli any sucii aiteraiiou!* in the Constitution. Snppnse 
we ,!!;(i into Convention, and adopt those resolutions as thp basis. — 
Sir, do i f^'o loo fir vvhcii 3 atfirm, y<!ur "•overmni'nr will not have 
been ori^anized lieforc yonvvill liaw applications fw ,:nother? I 
say, yir, y^uir j;;ovcciiiueni. will ii.irdiy lie orgaiiZ''d \vh' c, you will 
hasc t"i ral! annihrr Civnveniinn, and this districting question will 
not be settled. But, suppose you go into a genecai Convention — 
tear. up the found. ifiniis of your (rivernrnent, and let in the Corretits 
of innoi ation : Will that rn\m .he disfracred state of the public 
mind i Nu, sir. V\u' East nevei- can a'ld nev.'r ou;.^ht to be sa- 
ti-vfiei if t'l ihc power i-. r > go to thi- West. 

Tospeakof ,1 conp:-omi- ■. 'vhen fh;- tV-st woiid have a decided 
and vrinmphiut m-ijorily, iif.' to cAvvy a!i op nsition bf-for,- -hem, 
is to insult our uuder.staudi;' ;■ — is treatingos .is tiio' we were fools. 
Thus we see "^hit nei'hei- a limited Conventi m nor one more gene- 
ral, is likely, for the present at least, to heal our divisions and make 
Bs one people. 



Sir, there is an objection, and a powerful one, to onr gninsnow 
into a Coii\enti'ifi <if an}' sort. Vi'eall know how rirciim^aisci's have 
infliunnd the piiblic niind (i|)i>n this siittj^ct, v\e witness i* hei'e. The 
paKsiiins of the v-oniminiity tiic wroil.tjht ii|) to th< hi_a;hcsl pitch. — 
We have lioKid dix i--ioiis nf ilie State spoken of on this floor as 
well as ilscwheic. Is it i!Ot ipasonabie to siipjiose that aspiring 
men, th,(t ainbitiotfi cU'iimgogu^s will Ian this flame to gratify theii- 
own sdfish and misci-ablf piiiposes ? Sup[)ose yon enter into a 
Convention in this situation. Why, sir, to nsc thesti'img -tnd cm- 
pliaiic lanii;n:!!;r of the distin.iijiiislip.d gntlt'uiaii trom N"e\\bern, im 
another occision, jotir (Jonstittithm will be cniiiaminati-d with cor- 
rnpti(ni in its vfi-y ronccptiin. If tnis qn.-stion isever tohe settled, it 
is not to be done by keeping up thi^ exc lenient. 

Wc must (Nii'ieavoiii- to calni the pni)lic mind. We must wait 
until a more propnirms period, when moderate men of all parties will 
he Willi 02; to yield somelhiiij; of their i-iterests aod iheii- prejiidiresfof 
the public good. Then, but not tiil then, we may li-ope that soiHething 
good may l)e the result. ! hive not, in tlie ri'aiarks I have made, 
submitted <iuy caiculations, I am no great cidiuiatoi-, nor am I a 
believer in govertiinents firmed according to arithmetical rules.— 
I believe mere figures have very little effect here or elsewhere. — 
They do little else, than make a show and swell a speech. 

I say we should not enter into a Convention, because there is no 
pressing necessity for one — because |)0\ver is most safely lodged 
where it is — because it would not coni the public excitement, but 
rather inflHme it ; bec'ause we ourselves are too much distracted to 
undertake the awful asid perilous task of revising the fundaiuental 
laws under which we have lived so long and so happily ! ! 

Mr. Leatce observed : It is ,at all times a dillicult matter to dis- 
cuss a question of as much magnitude as the Resoiutioiis on your 
table. v\itlioi)t exci'ing considei-ible fe-ling. And no time, Mr. 
Spe;iker, could iiave been selecteii more inauspicious to calm ileli- 
beriiiion and dispa-isionate argument, tiim the, pi-esent. Fir, sir, 
the Members of this House have scarcely settled down from that 
effervescence of feeling which was created on tlie, discussion of the 
twin sister to these rescdaiions — (I ailade, sir. to the Appropriaiioit 
bill.) It Was for fiiis reason, that, foroneof'iie friends of Con- 
vention, I was o|i()osed to liie iiitrodnct!<in of the subject at ibis 
time, b<iieving that no good would result from its discussion, and 
that all \ve--liould reap IVo II it, ivould he a plentiful crop of unkind 
feeling, of virulent invective, and bitter reci-imn'ation. N ir, sir, 
have I be>'ti at all mistaken^ my most fearful apprehensions have 
been more tiian realized. This Legislative Hil! his been changed 
into an arena of poli.nal exoitP:nt;nt, ind i ir party, our sectional 
feeling, not our reason, has been addressed. 


But, sir, as ilie subject has been, contrary to the wishes of the 
great mojotily ol lh>' West, thrust betme tliis House at this time — 
as v\e are iidw called upon tn s^ive an opinion on the jn-opriety of 
a(lo|>tiiii>; these resolutions, let u.s, sir, meet tiie (]iiestioii fairly. 
Fiif one, then. M.. Spe;iker, J am apposed to the a(lo|)iion of tiie 
resnlutions '•uhmitied by llo' genth ini.n from Miicon, for the rea- 
son ihiii Ihe^ ar'e of too compcoiiiisiopj a ciiai'arter. That instead 
of bettering one condition, b} relieving- us against those inconve- 
niences under which we lahoi. ihat ihe^ would but entail evil on 
our initst distant pos'erity, wilhour, at least for a number of years, 
a possibility of anj amelioration. 1 brlieve, sir, thai if these re- 
solutions are adopted' iti Ci)n\eniii)n, that hope for a season would 
bid tiie West farewell. And for one, 1 am free to declare, that 
although a Convention has always been mj desiie, yet, sir, based 
on the princiiiles here set foitli, 1 am oj)posed to ir. VViiat, sir, 
are wc willing to surrender up all idea of mci' getting our due, and 
close in with this pitiful surrender, evt^n admitting that oui- kind 
brethren of the East were disposed to grant us the crumb ? No, 
sir, we should spurn it in<lignanliy and say to them, " we will 
have all, or none. If entitled to ii, we claim our right. If we 
caninit gel tliis, we are yei disposed to bear the ills." This, Mr. 
Speaker, is the languau;e ^)f tiulh, conscious of the justice of its 
claims. The othei', allow me to say, sir, is a kind of liueksteriug 
policy, which I am coufidiiit was not well considered by the gen- 
tleman from Macon, when he submitted the resolutions. Let me 
not be undersfood, sir, as depiecating all compromise, and rigidly 
exacting to the fullest extent our pound of flesh. No, sir, fai'from 
it. All government is in no little degree the effectof compromise. 
"^Vithoui ii, sir, society could not be formed, nor protected after it 
was formed. But, sir, a comi)romise to be just, should be recipro- 
cal ; and where, sii', is the reciprocity of this? Recollect, that next 
to inequalilj of representaticm, the great grievance, under which the 
West labors is the great inconvenience of large counties. Our 
citizens have necessarily to travel too far to Court, and that over 
I'iipd water courses and rugged mountains — some of them to the 
distanceof75 to 100 miles. To obviate this inconvenience, we wish 
aCon^entiotl, (in)t (hat a Couvenrion is necessary to erect oi' create 
couniies, but, sir, the East have a majority in this Legislature, 
and will noi redress tiie grievance, knowing that tln-ir creation 
will give the SV. St power). Will this end be attained by the reso- 
lutions on your taiilei' !t is true, that in one House we get a majo- 
rity of -seven votes, bii; what a»aileth (his, when on a joint b:illot 
of both H(Mises, there will still be a majority of one vole agunst 
us. It is admitted that one ilouse might control tue otiiei-, or- ra- 
ther, negative the acts of the other ; but surh a state of things is 
by no means desirable. It would only perpetuate a kind of poten- 


tial existence, which has too long (listinguished this State. It would 
,kcc|i IIS Rs wi' are, in statu quo: whereas we wish to aeoiiHe from 
our lethar_a;ic inactiviij. We \vim!i l(»^ hurst asiiiuler Ihnsr { h.^itis 
of narrow and contracted lef^i^la'ion whieh has hitherto kept N. 
Carolina in t'le bacii grouud VVr wish, sir, to ha\e thai .Sjjirit 
removed from our peojde •.•> nirh has dictated • course illiberal and 
unjust to the western part oT this Siaio ; Oiieli hus almost made 
us believe thatwe weie not Ciiildreo of the same parent 5 which has 
almost made us in the bitieruess of our souls cry out and say, 
that injustice, gr^s^ injustice, had been ilone us, and to that extent 
that Ave looked iipon our hrolliers of the East with any other than 
a fraternal regard. Yes. Mr. Speaker, let us disguise it not, things 
arc cimiiuj; to this pass. Sectional jealousy, that demon, has alrca 
dy reared iiis hjdra head, has infused prejudice into our bosoms. 
Yes, sir, we too, partake of it. !t has almost effaced from our 
recollections the noble example of him who on all foi'mcr occasions 
nobly stood forlii as tlie mighty and able champion of disinteresied 
legislaliou — of him wlu» knew no part;, but that ot his country ; — 
' wliose whole lite has been devoted to principle. Yes, sir, if he has 
■ suffered his judgment for once to be warped by party an/1 sectional 
feeling, it is high time to atlempi to remove the all-escitina; cause, 
so pi olific of prejudice. But, Mr. Speakei', 1 suppose that I neej - 
not he surjirised that all men. more ur less, yield to its influence j 
for. sir, it is said to be a uionsiei' wliich every mao driads, but 
> which no mui escapes ; and never may we expect to exorcise the 
demon, until by a chaiige of our Constitution, we restore liarmtmy 
to liie State ; tiien, anil not until liien, will he cease to tie invoked. 
1 have said, Mr. Speaker, thai the resolutions proposed by my 
hoiiorable fViniil from Macon, do not improve our condition, iliat 
if they are adopted, we shall never have a new county erected. 
And, sir, is tiiis saving more than i am warranted in saving 
(judging Die future by ilie jiast) ? What now, sir, prevents liieir 
erection? Js the justness ot ilieirclaims denied ? On the conirary, 
can ihey be resisted, either upon extent of lerritoryj population or 
taxation ? In pioot of it, Mr. Speaker, have we not this Session 
memorializod you ? Have we not shewn a territory as large as some 
vof the States ? li.>s not this House been tidd, time after time, that 
the citizens of some of the v> estern counties have to travel from 
70 to 100 miles III Court I Have we not been told that their popula- 
tion i- suttii lent, and tiiat they now paj a greater tax than some 
doZ' 11 counties of the East sejiarately ? Why then are tliey denied 
adniission ? V\ hy then are equal privileges refused tliein ? It Is 
sir, for a reason thai iie tiiat runs may read. It is, sir, because 
genilemen well Know that if many of them are admitted, 
Othello's occupation vvill have fled — that the sceptre would theft 


depart from Jiidah ; anil it is not because (as has been said) tiiat 
it 111; V fall on a Hentd. No, sir, if Judali were assured that in- 
stead of Roman I'etrarchs, she were to be J5overned by rulers of hei* 
own cdnosing, she would still fondly embrace the sceptre of power, 
ineivly fn- ! lie love of power. If then, Mr. Speaker, under the 
present order of things, while the East possesses the majority, it 
is next to an impossibiliiy to have a new county laiil out — is it not 
fail" to infer, ihat it will be impossible to get one, when she has 
only a majority in one branch of the Legislature ? For you will 
recollect, tir.u by the resolutions submitted, it is proposed to give 
eaih county one Senator, and to scale the representation in the 
House of Coitimons agreeably to some ratio to be adopted in Con- 
vention, based either on federal numbers or on the mixed basis of 
pojiiilation Riid taxation. 

It is for t.iese reasons, then, Mr, Speaker, that I am opposed to 
the resolutions, unless they can be amended as is proposed by the 
genilemao from Rowan. If amended, they will have my sujtport; 
for i be!ie\e thai all power emanates fnun the people, and that 
all legislation, to be just, must be based on the principles either 
of white po|iulatiiiii and taxation, or free white population includ- 
ing thiee fifths of all others. Adopt either of these, and I am sa- 
tisfied. Reject tiiein, and 1 will always raise my voice against 
the existing state of things, as unjust, unwise, and anti-republican. 
I '^hall feel myself compelled from a sense of duty, to cry aloud and 
spire not, for fear of offending tlie East, whom I still consider as 
brethren, as children of the same family ; aliliougb reminding tbem 
at the same time, thai like an unkind elder brother, they ire de- 
nying to us an equal portion of our fathei's inheritance. Yes, sir, 
they should be remind (i that we lia->e equal privileges — that the 
principle of prinii'vensture is not recognized in tiie last will and 
testament of our father, fur it is there expressly laid down, that 
a ftequcnt recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely ne- 
ce-suy to preserve the blessings of liberty. And yet, sir, with 
this staring them "In tlie face, with our grievances admitted by 
some of them, do they sliil refuse to recur to fundamental jirinci- 

Tliis, Mr, Speaker, may be considered plain language, such I 
wish to use, and siicli only dues the oecasion inspire. I have ;:!iout 
me no conce.ilmeiits ; and shoiilil gentlemen take it amiss, let tiiem 
reiollect that ihe fault is at tiicir own door, remove this and we 
^ill tiieri cease to sjieak iftbei'- illiberal exactions. Yes, .-^ir, 
first res'')re (o us an eqou! por.ion, i)tid all unkind feelings will in- 
St;uitly cease. D'-fcc ir as has liilherto been done, and in spile of 
ail asseverations to the ontiiiry, we cannot but Inok np ni tliose 
■who witliiioltl it. Hs enemies to our politicMl prosperity. Yes,sir, de- 
ny it not — this, and this alone, has aiwdj's created uupleasaut feel- 


iJigs. destructive of wholesome Ie_a;islation and opposed to every 
thinar uiiicli fends to ameliorate the condition of the whole. In 
what li.fifht,sir, cwn yon view the subject which will justify fhecnn- 
tiiiuance of the present state of things ? If yon take fedei-al num- 
bers, yon have been told in the lucid discourse of the a:»'titlemao 
fi'oni Rfiwan, wlioso mind annlyzes eveo thint; on which it is 
broujsjht to bear, — you have been lold that 28 Western counties, 
have a population of 104.000 --oiils in tlieir favor: that they hitve 
an H,s;s:regateof 377,515, nhile 36 Eastern counties, haveonly 273,- 
870. If you add to this land-tax, i liat then tlie West pay several thou- 
sand dollarsraore into the Treasury, Upon any, and every vicw,Jus- 
ticeis with us, yet, sir, tliat Justice is withheld from us ; and, sir, as 
well mi,a;ht we expect to remove one of the columns which sujiport 
thi' dome of this Edifice '* by argument, as to expect those in pow- 
er to surrender up that p'-wer." Yes, sir, disguise it not, — come 
out openly and manly. Call things by (heir proper names. Say 
to us, that we know you are entitled from any view which wecati take, 
to an equality of representaiion, but to be candid with you, we 
have the power and we are disposed to keep it. This, sir, in onr 
sense, would be manly and might ensure onr approbation for the 
candor evinced, but on the contrary, we have been told thrtt we 
need expect nothing: that our grievances wei'e only imaginary, 
that we were only scrambling for power. Why is this, sir? Is it 
not because gentlemen think we are actuated from tlie same motive 
which prompts them ? Hence if is, that they see through a glass 
darkly. The medium of prejudice and jealousy which surrounds 
their vision, I know cannot be dispelled, by any ligiit which I may 
shed on the occasion. Yes, sir, it is becoming more dense, until 
ere long, I fear that worse than Egyptian darkness will overtake 
our Slate. But, sir, ifyou view the question as one of power, 
purely, — and as gentlemen will have it in that light, for argument's 
sake, take it and let it be so considered; and I would then ask tin-m 
to say whether power should not alwsys accompany right ? If we 
have the right, in the name of Justice, give us the power. We know 
and admit, if we get the one, the other follows in its w :^ke ; bu* we 
deny that the latter is the object. We say that it is illibei al in the 
extreme to impute a motive ol' the kind : ihat it is uncharitable, in 
a search after motive, to take up one as the governing cause, when 
the same research could lead you to the conect motive. 

I think, Mr. Speaker, that our Constitution needs amendment. 
First to change the gross inequality of representation. I cannot 
admit that one man in one section of the State, ought to have dou- 
ble the political weight of another man in a different section. I am 
opposed to the pi'esent princi|)le of county represeMihlion. inde- 
pendent of taxation or population. 1 am opposed to Borough re- 


presentation, unless tliat borntis;Ii liave within its pveclncts a given 
j)opi I- tion, 1 wisli alsii, Hiar our Lp£;islHtui-p« sliould sit bienni- 
ally Li'i>'is!nti'n wnnid |ii-o_^ct'ss tniu li bctt'-r, wlicn the learisla- 
tors III ; loi! utile !n iwn yc?[s. Tliis. '•if, would -aw llie State 
about S4f).000 inmuall}, and would aftoid a h<tter repi'estiitation. 
Tlif Miih !•<. «ir, tliMt our- smarted and nsKst talonti'd men refuse to 
legi-'ate, the saciifire would be too great, tbey have families to 
supiioi t ; Let nie not be misnudcrstond. I am, sir, in principle the 
adN^'iHtf of frequent elertinns, bui nntso fiequentas we have ilieni, 
I t'li'ik tiint we have too much legi^l.ition, a jrood principle when 
cai rii-d lo extremes ceases to be valuable. The time lor which a 
nicmbei' is chosen should he so Ions; as to enable him 1 1 become ac- 
qirninied with the interests of those he represents and the duties of 
his -llice, and yei sir, i! should be so short as to secure his fuhdity, 
which will always be done when he is dependent upon thcii' appro- 

I am also iir favor of a Convention for the pui'|:ose of removing 

the Seat of Government. 1 believe and honestly believe, that the 

ti'iie interests of the State require it. I believe that it nexer- was 

placeil here by the wishes of -ilic people of Noi'h-Caroliiia If 

yon -.^ant eviderrce to support this assei'iimr, look at the history of 

the dav, look to the evidence which is afforded in the manosci-ipt 

jontnals of 1787, 88 and 89; pi iiited joirriials I cannot refii' you 

to, for most of ;hese were ('onsumed with our Capitol. From 

these, sir, you will learn, that the vote which pl.iced the Seat of 

Government here, was at that day a |iaiiy vote; thit it was the 

entire voteoftheEast, «ith the iote of thi' sexen conniies. then in 

!Noi"ih Candina, but now in the State ((f Tennessi-e. You will find 

that those cnurrties West of tlie Ailesfany, to your astonisliment, 

■voted loi' this to he the Sea' of G'lveriimi'nl, while a majority of 

the counties of N'lith-CasoUna propei', were Oi.piised in it. We 

haxe heard much, sir-, ahoor bargain ; aboui iritii.cne. Much, sir, 

about the West and Cape Fiar iog-iolling. This, to me, sir', si'ems 

to squint a little that v, a^. Is it reasonabk- that ibosp contttics, 

then in this Slate, now in Tennessee. si>uld ha^e fixed he Seat 

of Government here, 500 miles off, if they had calculated on rc- 

niainiirg in the Stale ? No, sii', it is not reasonable, and you ac- 

coi'tlingly find them immediafely thereafter reded off and erected 

into a new S'ate. Mheth'r this, Mr. Speaker, was the imder- 

staiidiirg, 1 will not pretend to say, but every man is left free to 

make his owir iirferences. 

We have been asked, Mi. S|)eaker, and repeatedly asked, nay, 
sir, we have been challenged to shew any misrule on the part of 
our brethren of the East. We point you, sir, to a refusal to erect 
Hew counties j we call your attention to the method of collecting 



and assessina: the land-fax «p to 1814. Yes, sir, up to that time, 
the )i<i"i' iup'l liarrcii satiH-liilK o' Ri hmoiid. prtid iiit" >'>iir Tn-a- 
sury. ;»s mni'li as the .■■H'li mid feifile butumis of th'.^ Ruanokr. — 
Each iiaid ntid wt.s tuxfd U\ tiie ane, n j^a) iUcss lifiinnliiy'. Lank 
sir. to the votes of 'hat day. and j^u will find that this was ano- 
ther oflT'ipriMg of spctioiiii! fi ilirig;. 

But. '-ir. a|!art fiom all this : when a thiiig is unjust in pfinriple, 
as is our [nM'sciit I o|irrseiit^itioti, we have a right to ri.niplaio, al- 
tho'igl' no serious iiicoin . iiieiicc ^limild iniiit'diaT! iy ensue, and 
tvith thi- in)miirtal Haiiipdeii to cxcl^iui, '• that the J)m) incut of 20 
sliilliiigs doe^i iirif iinpo'. erisli us, tuit tliat le-.s than 20 shiliiirijs, 
yielded to and di'manded as a rijilit. (where ijone suih existed) 
W'luld ai ike us slaves." few, sir. we me in reality notliing hut 
hewers of wood and drawers of vVrttcr to one Eastern liiethren ; 
and the most uiortifyifig reflcetion of all is, tliat whiie they rule 
us, they will do notiiiiig to better tluir oi our condition, Henee it 
is, th>tt Nil tli-Carolina i>^ always in the back ssr<iuiu!. and always 
will be until we arrest tiiis misrule. 

In conclusion, sir, I will only ask, is it right in prii:cip!c — is 
it republican, for counties to be represented ii'depeJiden* of pcpu- 
lalion or taxation? Is itjnst thnt a ciiunty with a popuiHuon of 
4,000 souls, who do not p.iy money enough iiiio the treasury to 
pay their members, r.iucii less other contingent chari:;es ; I say, is 
it just thai such a county shoold be enli'led tu as many lepi'csent- 
atives on (his floor as a county of five times its popnlatiot. ? No, 
sir. it is not. Aiid as long as I have a vjoicc in this Hiuse, or in 
the State of North-Carolina, I will cry aluud and spare not. 

Mr. McQiEEN" rose, and said, 

Mr. Cliairman : — I am one of that number' which considered 
the present an inauspirious period for the discussion of a question 
so liberally clsarged with mattei' of lofty interest to my country 
as the one now before the House. This question is one wiiich 
would have been well qnalifieii to daikcii flie suiface of our rela- 
tioiis, and to impart a keener eiig<^ to the implements of poliii('al 
contention — even during a se;iso>i when the spirit of fraieinal 
unitv liMii poured its soft and balmy imciion over the ileliberations 
of llie H'oise. If So, hoAV angry and how unrelenlitig in their na- 
ture mu>-t be those sensations of hostility which its discussion at 
this time will inevitably provoke! Mr Chairman, what, I would 
.ask, is t!>e situation of the House at the present time ? It requires 
not tlie gift of prophetic iotnilioii to foresee that no possible beoe- 
fit cao spiiiiir from the discussion of this qiiesfitni at the present 
session A p(ditical wiiiilwiiid has recently passed over (his iluiise, 
which dissolved the bond of unity between two of its grand divisi- 


ons — which save a rovivins^ touch to all the ancient jealousies 
which existed bctwoni them, and siinimoned into action all (hose 
bittei- a.s(iHJties of fcpliria; which the soothing voice even of the 
renowned f;iThei' ot his coniiti y could not lull to repose, should he 
ascend fnitn his sjia\e and plant his illustrious feel upon the cen- 
tre >.f tliis fluor. Many aident friends of this measiiie. vvh'iiiow 
suriound me, were anxious to defer its consifieratiou yntil the next 
session of the L'tfislature, or, at an,) rate, until some future sea- 
son slmuld < oil around more fitly adapted to the adjusiment of 
those delicate features in the Constitution which have loiig demand- 
ed tevision ; hut tin' question is now hefore the Hmise, anit its 
friends hdve but one course to pursue ; and that is, to advocate 
the principle ofcalllnga Convenijoii, notwithstaiiiling ihey may 
entertain a disrelish for the resolutions now hefote the House in 
their present form, togither with the period selected for their dis- 
cussion. For my own parM, I shall discuss the question merely 
Upon the broad ground of its justice, wilhoiit entering v ery laigely 
or minutelj into a review ofnll the solid and efficacious snpport, 
whicti tlie qnesiion can summon to its aid at any moment whatever. 
The gentleman from Halifax, "iro addresseil the House, in 
his long and laborid eRint, succeeded in eflfrclins: "ne object at 
least, which la_v close to his heart ; be made the fact fully intelli- 
gible to the House that he is, and ever will be ojjposed to a Con- 
vention ; and that the measure can never meet his a|ipeobaiion in 
any event vvliafe\er; but in a spirit of compassion fir its friends, 
which does distinguished credit to his heai't, he has kept in irserve 
those arguments which miglif possibly conflict with the spreading 
popularity of ihe qiK'stion, oi sbak'' the stability of those who are 
not firmly rooted if the established faith. He has professed, how- 
ever, to cherish appiehensions that a Convention, thirsting for the 
charois of novelty and glowing vutb the fire of innovation, would 
erase from tde Constitution every precious feature which beautifies 
its aspect. Now I \v(nild ask, of whom would ths Convention con- 
sist ? Would it consist of foreigners, who migiit glory in the re- 
duction of our prosperity, and in the dowiifail of oui- cherished 
institutions? Would it consist of inconsiderate youth, [.anting for 
power and celebrity, and who would force evt-ry otiiei- considera- 
tion to bend before ihese impeiious jiassiiwis ? Would it consist of 
lunatics or idiots. wIik would sport wi'hihe fairest and most boast- 
ed results of iiuinan patriotism anri gtnius ? Or would it consist 
of illiterate savag'S, who would deligiii in scattering to the f lur 
Minds of Heaven these inspiring monuments of safety and glory, 
for he itiainment of which freemen «ere content to die. ari<l for 
the njoymeiit of wliicb freemen would aspire to live ? Would it 
not ! rfber c oisist of (lie lio.ii-} fathers of tlie land, w!io have reached 
an honored maturity under the shelter of tiie Constitution — who 


have reposed for more than half a century beneath Us venerable 
shade — wlm ai'. encircled by a posterity niostd'eply itit('rpste<l in 
its safety and |>er|ietuation, and whose afff'tionri are closrjy en- 
twined with tlie best inteiesls of our roitiinon country ? Would 
not the Convention consist of those who have jilready established 
a reputation for wisdom and integrity, And vviio have repaid 'he 
extended confidence of the pui)lic witli fidelity and devotion to the 
primary interests of their country ? Would it not be composed of 
those who have liberty and sutjsl ince at stake, an<l wlio are pos- 
sessed of friends now sharing the perquisite auil emolument of of- 
fice ? VVouhl not a stei-n regard for persotial and relative interest 
constitute a sufficient bond of as-<urance for t!ie fidelity ofthiseta 
whom the I'evisioii and amendmenl of the Constitution would be 
confided? Would not the fear of (hat scorn and iiulij^nation, which 
inevitably flows from the abu-^e nf public confidence, be of any 
avail ? Or wnuld a member of the Convention he willing to iiglit 
the funeral pile of his future popularity with the blazing torch of 
innovation ? 

The gentleman from H.ilifax has paid a glowing tribute to the 
wisdom of the sainted patriots, whose concern for the felicity of 
futiM'e generations is so clearly deiiueaied upoo the venerable pa- 
ges of our jiresent Constitution. This tribute is pre-eminently 
their due, and I am prepared to sanction every contribution to tiie 
measure of tbeir praise, wiiettiei- borne upon the w'iis;)ers of retir- 
ing gratitude, or upon the vociferous note of public acclamatioo • 
for 1 do believe that the vision of an enraptured world was never 
feasted by a more sublime and beautiful spectacle, than the s iq;e 
group whose consultations for the benefit of posterity termisiiiled 
in tiie production of our piesent Constitution. Fhey were tnen of 
superlative patriotism and eminent wisdom, and tliey conferred 
upon us the best Constitution tiieir then conceptions would permit. 
It was an instrument indebted for its birth t(t a spirit of concession 
and compromise, and it yielded to u-* in the days which are gone 
a resjiectable share of liberty and happiness. 

But it was measurably an experiment. They possessed no in- 
fallible guides in the labor c)f building up a Constitution. They 
may have observed charters of a similar kind, which had been fra- 
med in other Slates ; but the practical effect of ihese had not been 
then illustrated 'ly expeiience, and tliey have t>eesi since altered. 
The framers of the Constitution may have also collected a few 
imperfect glimpses of light from a survey of the British political 

But experience, (he sage master of every immovable political 
maxim wliicii has ever }et gone foi'th to the world, h^-^ slioneujion 
the structure of the Constitntion, and exjiosi-d Us dev';).-, cities as 
Weil as its beauties to llje view. T-ie ste.i.-tci:' ■ of tlie Coostitutson 
wiien surveyed by the dim light of speculation, was similar to the 


earth when wrapt in the shades of riis^ht, rpgnlar in all its parts, 
and, as thi- sua in Hie Eeavens unveils the irrfgulHi'ilies uf the 
gl'»l)u, as well us its ijtsuuiits, sd did tlui su.i of exp ricncc iirise 
in its ini)fe accumpiished .splendor, and be<tni upon tlie Cousiitu- 
tion, .^nd •liscl'isc its iinp.if.ciioas in coiinertion with its precious 

,, I do assert that tuj stah isoffeired to wisdom of our political 
fathers, in Hssertiiig tiiar the presoot Cons itution is p.ilp.ihly de- 
fective. Inspiration has coinmuniciited to the world a ilecaloi^ue 
finished in its pans. Bnt ilie fiamors ot tin- Constitution were not 
endued wiilt ()rophetic vision, and, ronseqiiently, could not antici- 
pate and provide tor the utinumhen-d exigencies of our public ca- 
reer. Tlie question is not, vvhettier the Constitution has sinely 
oppressed us or not? Bui If is, whetlier or not it has yielded us as 
large a portion of jioliiical liappiuess as the unproved and increas- 
, ing Aisdoni of man could make it^ield ? 

Vie might giide down ;:.o current of future time, without being 
very severely or grievously oppressed by the offensive provisions 
of the Constitution ; but it is not a disttnguishiug trait in the liu- 
nian cliaracter, amid the private relations of lile, to I'eniain con-' 
tent with that situation wljicii is barely sutfer.ible. So neither is 
it the case in regard to the public relations ol' iilc. Tlie hcai't of 
man p>iiits for the gnatesl iHtainabh- good ; and if yiu can jusily 
cciisiue tliose wh.i call vocileronsly lor a Cuiivention, ^ lU ..liiy al- 
so censure the falher who erected his house whm bis family was 
small, aiitl who aitei".\ai{ls cniarged its dinit-usions to suit the 
growing wants of his children. You may birtine the farmer who 
aims, by ilie application of ne-w skill in hush.indry, to make two>- 
bliides of corn sjiriiig np win re only one gceu before ; and vou 
may vvith equal propriety censure htm vsiio rciiioxes tlie suckers 
from his corn, excresc.-nses froin his body, drones from his lave, 
or useless scions from his nursery. 

The Constitution is like a fountain of water. It must be pcri- 
odii ally cleansed of its laipui ities, or all its issues will be inevita- 
bly tainted with the infection of the parent fountain. 

The trainers otthe C<Mist!luTioi< bave themselves impressed upon 
the face of that venerable charter, the necessity of periodical Con- 
venti(nis tor the revision and aniendnieiii of ils provisions. They 
plainlv show lhi;t thej anluipated the necessit> themselves. The 
Isl article of ihe Bill of lligbis |)roclaiins tiiat all political po-.vcr 
is derned limn, and vested in the people only. The 2d article 
proclaims ihat the people of this Slat, possess the sole powei of 
regulaiiiig llu' internal governnient and police thereof, ilie 2l9t 
ai licie de( lares, that a Treqneni lecurit nee to Inhd^iniental p^ inci- 
ples is luci ssiiiy. it was riglit thai a Constiluiional road was 
left open for the redress of Constitutional grievances j for if we 


jiossPBsed wot this road, we would liave been left in a chcei'lpss 
prp'Uc;i'neut. What would yaii tliiiik of flio ;irtist wlio wmild jire- 
sent yon a watch, and infofin you at the sami^ timi^ H»at it w> ild 
stand it) nci'd of occasional i';>j»aii's, lint t!\ii tSie ct-piirs C():ii'l ne- 
ver he acci>in|>lislied without tii^ I'nin of the watch? Unt one Con- 
stitutional artists were not so nujirovident in their enga§;i'in.'nts. 
Tlicy (H'ovidi'ii an avenue to Ih' ;ittiinini» it of I'lnlcf is fo^- e^cry 
grievance. Now if j^rievances actually d> exist — if t'le pe^iple o0 
Niii'th-Carolina are oppi-essed fay 'hose ajfievanres, and a [intu has 
been furnished by whidi tin-} may be redccssed — is it humane, 
eein-rous, 01- rii^ht to d^ny them the lioon ? Is it not virtually re- 
fusing^ 'he people of the State, the libecy of imp.' ovi-i!; a .^ovcpu- 
ment Kvhich w.ts firmed cspressly fir tii'ir benefi' ' The p.- -p! ■ of 
this Stite, in frainiut; a Constitution, wt-re not so improvid -ot as 
to tie >ip their minds without a sina;le reservatiou to ! leuiselves. 
They did not forever bar up the door of the sanctuary of redress. 
Tliey instituted a !;ovi>rnmi'iif for pci'p-tuity : hut not a Cotistitu- 
tion which was to remain literally the same forever. They w>ve 
sensible that, to rc'idec a j^overtimeMt p'>rin.ui;'nt in its diirition. it 
was necessary to resei-ve to themselves the po%ver of expunging 
from the Constitution such noxious features as might pi-esent them- 
selves to view, and of inserting otiiers calculated to furnish a lar- 
ger and frtirei- scope to popular lilierty. 

Tlie Constitution is the child of tlie people, and as such they have 
a ri.u;ht to nurse it. and to subject it to such ^i course ol discipline 
as viill best serve their interests. Now 1 would asli. M' . Ciiair- 
liiau, if there is not as much wisdom abroad over the laud now as 
whin the Constituiion was formed? If there be not, of ^\h-t avail 
are the increased fucilities of learning and a moie enlarged acquain- 
tance with onr own and other systems of government. 

Is there not as mucli patriotism in ciicuiatioii now as there was 
when the first r 'voliitionary heart pal(titated with the p ilse. of li- 
berty ? It would be doing injustice lo the fathers of A nerioan. 
freedom to assei-t that more ardent patriotism ever centered oi* 
glowed in any bosoms than than that which kindled the revolution- 
ary flattie. I5ut iheir fondness for the Constitution, glowin< as it 
was, was nevertheless in some degree speculative. They revered 
the child of their conflicts and ileliberations because of its anticipa- 
ted benefits. We cherish the salutary provisions contained in the 
Constitution for the blessings which they have already bestowed 
upon us. 

We have stronger incentives to preserve those features in the 
Constitution wliicii are truly e^rimaoir-, than its franei-s tiad whea 
tliey first committed that instrument to the world. Tiiey esteemed 
fhem for the same reason that, ii parent dotes upon tKe child of his 


elder ago. Because it blooms wi'h the health and glows witii the 
aflTectiini whi( li is to s'lield liis (lescciit 'o thegr-ave froni inickery 
and iriKult. W.' esteem tin- faiier provisions in tlie Constitution 
as (ioi s a ('hiid 'he venerable paci'iif wiio covered the weakness of 
liis iiifani) v\iih the mantle oi protection, and who scattered licn- 
efiis iijioii Shi' p. itli of his maturity. It is for this reason that \vc 
aspire t" infnsi- tiew life nod healili into llie withered fr'aine of our 
prtsen' ConsMtiiiion. And even, Mr. Chairman, if the Cioistitii- 
tioi 'if North Carolina d I spiiiscd at tliis time a moi-e copious strcrim 
of ui-iicfiis t>i hei ritlzi'iis th-iir fltiwed from any other political char- 
ter u|)(in the suif-ice of ihis ci) .tinetit ; yel, if imperfeciions were 
so profnsely mingled with tlmse benefits as to disarm tlietn of thi'ir 
composing intliKiice over the fei lings of onr population, it would 
tln'ii lie a duty of supreme obligatino, which we owed ourselves 
and jiosieriiy, to tectify tite Constitution, and to purify its result- 
ing benefits ol every bleuiish v\iiatev«'r. But, sir, what is the real 
character of iliis instiumeni, the pi'ovi^ious of which lia\e b'Cti so 
libir.illy applaudi'ti ? True it is, our personal iij;hts are secured 
■from imasioii hy it- provi^iims, and no offiMisive or glaring act of 
tyrniiuy woulo hi- (oleiiitcd hy ihem — we enjoy inuli-r the present 
Coi'stilulriii tiiai negative sprcies of happiness whicli is the poriion 
of Hiiindivniuai confined in piisnn fcu'some slight transgression 
oftiie iaw — we are tree from absolute pain, hut we derive from the 
Constitution nn positive and sensible delight; for we are prevent- 
ed by its present -.irraiigements iVoin embarking on lliat phasing 
sea of exj)ei imeiit, uinm wiiich other Commonwealths have flo.Ued 
in glory JO the haven of fiigh and palmy prosjierity. I entei-tiiii 
no appreliensinn uhatever tliat the Coiistituti(ni would be shorn of 
Its valuable leaiuies, if submitted for revision to tiiose who are 
profoundly C(nicerned for its preservatinii, but, sir, iftiie poliiiral 
rights of thecitizch are now disregarded for the sake of presei'v- 
int; iheConsiitutioii, or in other words, from the fear of losing it 
entiiely, does not tlils cmisiitute a glaring saciifice of the end (o 
the tneans ? The Constitiition was framed for the protection of 
public liberty, and its fiainers did not design to sacrifice tiiat 11- 
beity in order to obtain it. Would it not be preferibie, Ihen, even 
to hazard the security of that Instrument in aspiring lo enlarge 
and refine public liberty, than to retain it in its present form at 
the e\p.nse of public fri^cdoni ? It was not for the attainment of 
an elective dispaiism that the sages of the revolution participated 
so freely in the jjcrils and trials of (hat convulsed era : yet it is 
an elective despotism in the strictest sense of the term which wields 
the sceptre of political authority in N(nth-Carolina ; for it mat- 
ters imt by what appellation a minoniy in pussession of the supieme 
power of the State may be distinguished ; yet if tkc will oftiie 


majority be confi-olled by i(s dicta, it is a:i plective despotism iu 

siib'<tH'ire ; iiml i yiii onrc ad'tiif 'hnl h ci'iit) p.nibiiirni ;• • iiiijiu- 
latioii of oiiIn 3,000 ■<i!uI>^ is eniit cd to an trjiiul aii.niui)' ot riprc- 
seiitati'iii ''itii one rintiiiiiiiii; 6.000, tiii'ti _\ou saiictimi tin- doc- 
trine that 1.000 souls ai-eentitlid lo i^ii e<iiiil sliare of poliiiriil pow- 
er ^illi 12.000 ; for the autboiify of tuiuiljeis is •■>s viiiuiillv pros- 
trated ill the fiist rase as iti ihe last. It \'> the hali-ed of subuiia- 
sioti to this illegitimate powei- on the pur! of lu- West, and the 
apiiretiensiiiii of losina; it on the part of the East, which lias poi- 
soned our |p.a;islatiiMi for many preceding years, and paralizrd eve- 
ry effort (d'Niirtii-Cari:liiia to assume her merited rnnk aiiinnij her 
sisters of tlie Union. Amend your Coo titiitiioi, a'.d di^tiibnte 
your rejiresentatioii upon the fail- and eqiiital)|i princiide nf taxa^ 
tion and popul.ttion, and this mournful state ol rhings svijl flee 
from within our borders ; a tide ol pro'-pei ity w II _^usli I'ortli ;ind 
refresh the land whicii vsill not ebb. and a bi ij;Iiter suji will beam 
upon the State than ever gilded her bio-d' rs before. We siiould 
as stddionsly guard against a feeling of veneration foe the defects 
of our political institutions, as we should against a IVeling of roin,» 
plarency for tlie sins of our hear's. The one, like the otiier. may 
furnisli an easy conquest during their gi-eener age ; but once per- 
mit them to seize our affections with a firm grasp, and it will re- 
quire the eni-rgies of an ai ined world to du-i-ect the one, and the 
mercy of Omnipotence to extirpate ilie other. 

Mu. Daniet, lose and said, 

Mr. (.'hairmari. 1 beg pardon of the Comniitice, for presum- 
ing to trespass upon tlieir patience for a few moments. In a qiies-. 
tion of such impoitance, whicli involves such a \Hiietj of conside- 
rations, and affects so materially the dearest inteiests of our com- *■'/ 
mon country, it behoves every individual, however liiimble, ii; con- 
tribute iiis feeble mite, to briii!< aliout that resolt, wiiiib his judg- 
ment and his conscience apjirove, and his sense ofdntj,'S 
him he ought to aid in accomplishing. Sir, I have no expectation 
that any thing I can say will have much effect here; the question 
is, perhaps, already prejudged. I shall, however, have acted in 
accordance with a liigh .sense nfduty. in point of importance, these 
resolutions outweigh any thing that haw come before iiiis Legisla- 
tuie. What do they propose? Why, to introduce an im- 
portant innovation upon the fundamental law of the laud — upou 
our long and well tried Constitution — nay, to endanger its very 
existence, by a Convention thus involving all that is ilear to free- 
men. Ought such an experiment to be made Ought such liazauls 
to be run, for light and transient causes ? for iie mere niathemaiical 
adjustment of political powei' between the Eastern and Western 


sertions off'e State? When a goxernmenf is pervppled, or fails 
ill tlif Olid lt>i \vli( h it was instituted, therr exists a jiis'ifiable 
caii'-e fur di'siiinj;: and seeking a rhane:e; btits>n Iih.s; asi' answeis 
the ends fdi- which civil guveitimeiit was designed — sn Iiiii!^ as it 
assMies to tlmse wlio li»e nnder it. tlieii civil and political fi'e( dom, 
and affords tliem eveij' opporiunity df |ir'>motins; tlieii- ha)!pitiess, 
no improvement in meee theoiy will justify a cliange. Geniltinen- 
should recollect that experience is, at all times, a safer guide than 
theory. Our early an(estorsli\ed under a government which niittht 
deser\ed!y he termed a crude one. The proprietoi's applitft to Mr. 
L eke lO pirpare a better. That pliilosophei' had de\ oted much 
of his time to the science of g(i\ernmeiit. as well as to litfiature 
and s. ience in ireneral, antl his luminous understanding and tlie 
strong leasdtiing powers of v/liich he was possessed, tngether uith 
thr \iriues of his heart, rendered him prreminent among his fel- 
low-men. From such a man, a government almost perfect in the- 
ory might huve been ex|iected. He undertook the task and prepar- 
ed a Constitution, but it would not do. It was supeiior to tlie old 
foi-iii tf government, upon paper only, and was soon laid aside. 
Sir, wiruld ii be wise in us to give up our present Ci.nsntiition. un- 
det which w*- have so long live' anil enjoyed all the l)lessin.«,s of 
freedom, and \>hich we know to he good in its pracMcal operation, 
for another of what kii'd, and what effects it will produce, we know 
not? The beauidtal of govrrnnient entertained by gentlemen of 
the Wist, may, when catiicd int'' praciice. like Mr. Locke's, prove 
to be superioi to the old one on paper only. 

But it seems other States have altered their Constitutions, and 
•we, iheieCore, should alter ours : for the gentleman from Rowan 
told us yesterday, that no slate in the Union lives under a Consti- 
tution foimed as far ba< k as 1 776 ; that all have new modelled 
their forms of Govrrninent. The remark of the gentleman is not 
Correct. Rliode-lsland is now governed hy the Charter granted 
by King Charles tlie Secoml. and thi' people of New-Jersry live 
uih'er a Constitution formed in 1776- Does it appear that these 
States are in a worse condition for trusting to their old Constitu- 
tions ? No, sir. they are as jirosperons atid as happy as if they liad 
been introducing amendments fir alterations evf-ry day. 

But because olhei S+ates have altered their Constilutions, must 
JJorlhCarolina therefore alter hers? The example of other States, 
in thi> respect, should have but little ii:fluence. When we are de- 
liberating about the propriety of a change in our form of govern- 
Dient, we sbould look to our owii criiidition— we should cnnsidei' 
the practical in< on\i niencies under which we labor from tlieexist- 
iiiii i^iirstitution, and what advantages are likely to be gainet' by 
(he jproposed alteration. If these be so great, as to justify the trou- 


ble, expense, ami listzard of a Convention, we may <}ipn en fer up- 
on slic liiglii^ IK p'irti>iit and p'riloiis experinieitt. But unless* ^ve 
do hilior under Mime ereat pi-iictical inconvmicnce'i, and tliPi-f i^ a 
moi-al ctrtaintj' of e;»iniiig in portant !)d\Rnt»ei>s, llie prudent 
and safe Course sci ms to be, »« pi'i-niir Miiners to remain as tliov are. 

By way oi' reniovint; !he jippi clK'nsions \^ hicti an unlimited Con- 
ventinii is well calculat<d to exrito. we are iol(l,tli;it*lr't body. >.Uien 
assembled, vxill be restricted to tlic ron-iidi-iation of tlie ndopfion 
or I'rjection of the articles ns-.^iioscd by the lesolution^. Sir, I am 
disposed todonl)tthe validity of any restrictions wliich tlii-- Lt'sis- 
Jatin e can imp(tse. The delegates in Conventiiiii will repi'esent 
ilie people in their soverei_a;n capacity, and der've their authoiiiy 
fioni tlieni, not us. The Leajislatui e itsrir is 'lie cr-eatiire of the 
people. Can the crcatni'c controi t!ie rieatni- ? This w^mld lie in- 
verting the laws of iiainre. Should the pople inipuse resti'ictions 
upon their delegates, they ou.a;!it, in the nature of tliiiijrs. to be 
binding, and would be so res;nide<l. But we have no security that: 
they will obey any ns'ricuotis which we m ly recommend — f will 
not saj im[iose. To pass the ie«oiniioiis thei-efKre, may If, tft 
create a bod\, bavioi; power to do any tliinir. not pliysiially itn- 
pos-iible, and to render insecure the wiicle nf our existine; institu- 
tions. WIh-h there is a probubility of thi^. <•:<! the mannei in 
which the delegates are prdjiostd to be rlec'ed is such (hat the West 
will have ai> overpowering inflnence, tin- East and Cape-Fear 
hesitate for a moment to n jert them ? 

In this body, which has a-semblcd fir the ordinary puip' sen of 
Jcgislntion (Mil'i, each S( ction of the Stiie is so re[»iesen!ed as io 
possess in Some measure, the means of self proiection — neitlieethe 
E;iS% West nor Cape-Fear can do anything within themselvps. 
But if we sanction tiie lesolutions, a bndy will be coipened fol* 
purposes vitally interesiing — to make laws for future L<'gislKiures 
themselves, in which the West will be more strongly rcpivseni^d 
than the East and Cape-Feai' combined, and may secore •<> her- 
self whatever portion of political power she may think proper. 

If we ever consent to a Convention to be thus composed, I trust 
we will not do so when these is so much cistse for excitement as 
at present. Now, not only theqoestion of Convention for an ai- 
teration oi' (be Constitution, but also lor the removal of the Seat of 
Go< crnment, agitates the jjublic mind. We saw the excitement to 
wliich the discussion of the Appiopriatiou bill gave rise the other 
day, and we see the feeling v.liich ihis subject is likely to occasion. 
Pass the resolutions, and that feeling wnd excitement will he rous- 
ed in a tenfold degree tliroughoui the State. The coiir 'uoiiv will 
be convulsed from one extri-miiy i lihe ohet. In the idst i^f 'hi« 
taimilt and confusion, (he elections will come on ; and those can-. 


didatcs vvliose seelional ])i-ejt;(li(cs arc stron.e;est, will, on tluit ac- 
count be |.i't Ici ) cd. Am! Ii'tnc the Coiim'iiHoi' will li^''ri)iui>i>se(l 
' of the most line;!') and iliscofdatit nialeriHls; in ^liicii one sertinn 
of ilie Slate Mil! be nrriivfd in ho.sHlity au:Hinst iiimtln'r. Will 
gehthnu'ii ffiini tlic East iiiid Capel''! ai- consent to rrc<(te Hiirli a 
bo'l), -..Md place oil) I ivi! iiistitiitii'iis at its nuMcy ? — Will iliey 
ph'.ce till liiscl-es and tjieii cotis'itiiciifs at tlic iiieiry of the V'* est, 
iiiidei- the iiifliieiice of tli< sttontci'Sf xeciional prejiidic' s, witlioiit 
the least pov. »■!■ of sell' ino'ection ? 

Suppose hovsever, tlic Coinenlioii when asseiiibl' d. should rejjaril 
tlip lesti ictidiis imi)cised or iccoinmeiidi d li.v the Leci'^latiire, as 
bii^diiig : and slioiild confine 'liein^el^es in the adii|itiaii oc icjw:. 
tion ofthe ai'iiries inoposrd hy tlir RcsnliiliiiMs ; arc tliey sueli. that 
their adopiioii would justify the least risk or tiiiuble and ex|iense? 
II they could be inc()!'i)nratiMi into our C Uistitiitiini without endan- 
gering, in the leas!, that paiiticivl inf!iiei,i e, nun held by the sec- 
tion of tlie Stale 'o wiiieh 1 b( lona;. 1 w^ii'd 0)-|)ose most of th'in, 
and others 1 wonld nol rarr to adopt. { look upon some r)f ihem 
as likely to prove jiei uicious in tl'cii ilfecis. ! alhide to those 
which propose, that the election of nn'inhers of tlir Assembly, and 
the sessions ofthe Legislature, shall be hiennially, instead -f an- 
miallj, as at pieseot. I'be only ar.^uniciit vxliieh has been nigcd 
in favor of this proposed chan.^e is, liiat ii woniil occasion a sa- 
ving to the GovcrMmeiit, according to one gi-ntlenvaii. of twenty 
thonsai'd dollars, accoi'ding to another of rm-iy tliousand. Now, 
if tJM- Legislature, when it assembles bii' on' e in two years, shouh} 
sit no longer than it does at present, the ara;iim' nt would he cor- 
rect. But is it not likely, that if it sliouhi assemble but onci' in 
two years, there would be such an accumulation I'.f l)usiness, that 
the sessions instead of being eight weeks, would be double tli^t time? 
If so, nothing woiild be gained in point of economy, simnly frotti 
that alteration. 

But, sir, there are evils to lie apprehended froai this pi'()posed 
change. The powers of Gokernnseiit are di-rixid IV(OU the peo|)le, 
and they who are intrusted, with tliem, are responsihie for the 
faiti'ful exercise of them, and cannot tlierefoie, too sensibly feel 
their de|ieiidence upon the source from wl. ence iho-ic powers are 
derived. When this dependence is properly felt, the will of the 
people will he studiously consulted ; it will be slamjied upon the 
measures of go\ernmenc, and \Aill infuse itsilf into tin' policy, to 
be pursued. Now in proportion as you lender electiois les-. fre- 
quent, yoii destroy this depi-ndence. A' jireseni, do;'s not f^evy 
member upon t-is fl^>ol• kaow, iliai if le disreg^ids (lie kdowo will 
of it!S coistitnevi:-, he will emianijer his re-election — thai he will 
be before the people again, before the feelings which his inatten- 


tinn to Ihoir v,is!io3 !nay ocrr.siDn, will have sul)'*itlet!, and that Ue 
will Cofl ilip i'(V rts. Bill if eifciioin s 'Hjld v.\k>- [il f • onfC in 
two yars. ill' irprcspiitiitive will iieiceiw, tlint li- will nu', ii;iz- 
ai'il his rc-cl(<-'ii)ii so iniicli. b.> (li'|inr;iii.!i; (Vom the wishps of his 
cotislituniit^ ; lio ma)>uiit! i-ta-,oii Sipp'tsi^thii in eis^hfei-ri months, 
the rtclini!;s, uiiich his CDtKliic! (nay occasion, wi|l have sub- 
sided; and within time lie will have oppnitnnitie-i of 
regaining; his popii! u-ity, by courtina^ the favor of tuf p<!0|ili-. — ■ 
Aiiotlier inconvenii'tice iniirli' iv><n!t fi'om biennial sessions of Ihe 
Ler;isla(Ml'e. Siioiiid (l\o Le2;isi ilnru a-^siMible b;it onne in two 
jiMis, the pcoplr wiHild be i oin elled to snb'nit tor some lime to 
any obnoxious luws wiiicli iiiic^h*. be. en.icteil ; but when it is ron- , 
Ycned annually, snob luws are soon C' pi rtled. It is trne, extra 
sessions may be c.iWeil. bnt we know they aie ne.ver had ex;-ept 
in cases of j^M-eat e:ueri3;enry. 

As fo diininiiliina; tii.e nmnuer of tiie 'ne!n'>ei's, I will vem.irk, 
(leaf by ilie luesen-: aei-ansjonierit, the wants ;-ind wislies of the peo- 
ple afe more iiitiintteiy known, and more liki-ly to he con-'ulied, 
than if ih" nnmiier siionid lie diminished; and that it is not. at 
pirsent, too lar;je fir ;'ai;n deliberatioii, noi- ovcrburd>'nsi>me as 
regards eSjiens(>. 

Anoilier and iln- most important clia!i*c propa-sed by tlie Reso- 
Siitions, and wiiirh is the i)i)ne if contention between th.e East anil 
Wesi, IS that whirl) re;:5ar;ls o:ie rejireseiitiu i;i. Th if is the ma- 
terial tiling. li is that citiefly, for whieli the West is strni^i^line^, 
and against wliich the East is contendin.^. Wes ern gentlemen 
say, they areen;ttlcd In the chanijje. 'liat the ^re^tcr share of j>n- 
iitical power beloni';s to them ; and tiiat the proposed change will 
place it winn-e it belongs; Their claim, ih-y say. is faiinde.d in 
jusiire, and npim co^isi'hiiatious of expediency. L't us examine 
it ii])On those groiiod-:. 

And H-affv:' mo fii-'t, }J:\ C:i lie-nui. to advert to so miicli of Ihe 
remarks of tlie gen lea m from Ro van, as respected the large 
conniirs as such, as being inserested in tliechmgc jiroposed. If it 
were a qnestion between the large and' small counties as such, 
liirongboiit il'.e S:ate, we sbonld see genilemen representing the 
large counties in the East, CoiiteiidMig on this door, witii their 
Wesicrti brelhi-en, for a Convention; ami those representing 
sm;ill eoiintirs in iiie sVest, op)n)sing it vvilh equal zeal with their 
Easffro brethren. Biit'tfie I'lCt is otherwise. We discover g:n- 
llemen from sniail counties, and tlie genlleman from Salisbury, al- 
iimiigb tlie linronL';!! system is'-ned, contending wi'h those 
from large counties in tlie West; for a C'luveniion, and 'hose iVom 
both laige and small counties in ill- East, oppositig ii. Erber 
flie gcntleniHr', therefore, must be incorrect in this view of the 


au'ijecf, or pvepy bo'ly else mint I)r labouring iinfler a delusion. I 

C(iiisi<1pi' .li" firs i-. 11 ist i)r ibible. 

No. sii, [.ft ti'utb is, it is a sti'ii.^:^!)' bi'tvveen tbc Bust and 
Wost lo'- pulitiral p.) vcr. In tbnt viiw then, let ns cXHSuine tbe 
cl.iini of til.;, ujxiii tbi' j^iou.ids iipioi wliicb it is attempted to 
be Hii|(jioi'fed. \u iiru;iii^ tbe evpedii'ncy oF a cliatii^e in our cep- 
reseiiration, ibe policy wiiicb we biive bei'eiofore pursued, bas bi'eu 
sti,i'MHliz-d as "narrow and couh acted, illiljei-al and unjust," 
and I ill' blame bas been thrown upon tiie E isf. It lias been con- 
tended, tbat llie West bis lu'en rrampfd oy tli'- legislation of tbe 
Eist, and tlieouly inst.ince pointed nut lo support tiiis lii'Oad as- 
sertion is, (be refusil of Mie Eis! to erect new coinUies in the 
West. Now, ihr history of li'gislaiion, in regard to the erection 
of new counties, will shew, 1 iipprobend, that they were erected 
as readily in Ibe West, as in any otlier section of tiie Statn, until 
it Was discovered, tliat tiie object in creatln.s; 'liein was not so iihicIi 
to remoie grievances, as tn acquire sirerigth in this body. When 
this was ascertaini'd, and tlie otijci t for woicii it was soiigbt was 
Considered, the East resisted flic ei-pciion of new counties in tbe 
West, ami will continue to resist ibem. I imagine, so long as the 
erection nf them is liUety to ciidanu;er ih' existing form of govern- 
tnenl. Mos, of tbe reasons which liold agains' a Gonventioo, ap- 
ply to tbe erection of new counties, if the East is jiistifiiblc 
in iier opposition to a Convrntion. and w- thiik she is, slie is jus- 
tifiable in her refusal to erect tr'W comities. This policy then, 
can fiirnisb no jnsf ground lo stignatize the East with "narrow 
and contracted, illiberal and unjust" Irgislatinn. It is what pru- 
dence require.s, for purp.ises >)f silf |irolection. 

Can any one else be pointcil our, wiiirb will furnish even a pre- 
text lor such a charge i 1 think not, but <ui thi^ contrary, there is 
abundant eiidence of a lilieral dispositOn on our part tn the W'-st. 
Ill the iiffices of govi'rnmcnt she iias lud hir sliare. As regards 
the executive otfirc, there is no cause to complain ; both our Sena- 
tors ill Congress are from lb-' \Vi»st ; and she su|»plips more tlian 
her share of our Judges. And in regard to internal iinproveinent 
also, ibe East iias acted in a manner, wliicb ought to protect her 
from ibe charge nf illiberality. It is true, we cannoi of any 
splendid works of this kind, like the Siate <if New Yoik and 
others of our sisu r States ; but in the sys(e>ii which lias been pur- 
sued, we have been superior to sectional feelings; we have aided in 
the Construction of public roads, and schemes nAVt' heen sanciion- 
cd, for develoning the lesourcfs of tlie West, which prudence never 
wari'anted, and time has proved to be visionary and chimericaL 

It is truehcwevei , that -he does la'ioi uiidee dis iilvantages, hut 
they are natural ones — such as hermountaius and deep valleys, and 


: remote sittiafion from market, oppose to a profitable dispositiou 
of her sisrpiiis prodiire. To rcmnvc these, is not wiihiri any c)f tlie 
means, to which out' Le.£;i-laiui-e ran resort, witli justice to other 
sections of (he Sta'e. Sir, if theti'easnre of the United Stales was 
laMslieii upon the West, the>e disadvantages would still exist to a 
considerable extent. 

This charge, Mi. Chairivian, of a " narrow and contracted, il- 
liberal and unjust" poiic), implii-s a crti'isiderable compliment to 
the West, at the expense of thi' East. It is In effect saying, that 
all just and liberal views of poli.y belong ft) the West. Sir, I will 
not arrogate such pretensions to the section of the State to s\hiihl 
belong; but I will remark, that such acharge from the West i-. on 
evidence that more enlightened views are enteitained there, than 
in the East, and gives i-ise to suspicions that the opposite extcerae 
to that which they reprobate, to wit, piollig:icy and extrnvagance, 
might characterize their policy should they succeed in their scheme 
of Convention. 

Another argument is urged by the resolutions, and has been re-~ 
peated in drbate. It is said " local jealousies and divisions" exist, 
which a Conveittion will I'cmove. Mr. Cliairtnan, who gave ri^e 
to these '• local jealousies and divisions i" Tiie East ? No, sir. 
So long us our Western brethren were satisfird wiili the piesent 
Constitution, they were unkiii>wn, and we were what the res luti- 
ons propose to make us by a Convention, " one jieople." But as 
soon as they discovered tliat by assuming another basis of represen- 
tation, they Would acquire more political influence in the govern- 
ment, they bccaiiie dissatisfied, and have been since struggling to 
obtain that power, vvliich tiiey desire, by a Convention, when it 
was likely to succeed, and at other times, by the erection of new 
counties. The East has done nbiliing more than strive to main- 
tain the existing govcrnuient, and pies' rve tiiit wliich our ances- 
tors bequeathed. Nor in iliis, has she done any )hing unnatural 
or unjust. Those " local jealousies and divisions" tinfu, thus oc- 
casioned and kej)t alive, are urged u|ion th ■ East, by the West, vvith 
about iis good grace, as if one tenant in common W-re to v\rani<le 
with his co-tenaiit, for not yielding him his interest in the estate, 
and should then urge as a reason for so doing, tiie ill feeling thus 
occasioned. Such a proposition, seriimsly made and insisted up- 
on, Could scarcely fail to excite souie indignation ; and has nothing 
persuasive in it, when urged by the West upon the East. 

But, Mr. Chairman, they say, they have right on their side as 
well as considerations of ex|)ediency. Here then we are ag^iin at 
issue. 1 have already said, I view tlue question as a strusgie be- 
tween the Eastern and Western sections of the State; it is there- 
fore important to ascertaiti? as near as we can, the division between 



those two sections. The sfentleinan from Rowan assumed an iraa- 
giiiai'j line passiiija; tlirouich Rl'M.^li. I am aware thni is the line 
bentdforr ;^^sulued in ilie (liscii.ssioii of this siihject. But I iliiiik 
it is I'ot tlie rinitrt iir)e. In assuming a lint- between tlie Eastern 
and Vt'sttrn counties, liow are \vi- to be regulated ? The obvious 
ride -^et-ms u> be that indiratid by iheir geographical situation, and 
their a|>pai'i'iit interest ai ising from that situation. In examining 
a ni:.p of iln Staie, (Mr. U. \v;is heie h)oiiing on a map which he 
held in hi^* hand) we see no reason for an Eastern and Westei'ii in- 
terest, exccpi in iTt;ard to meiisuri's of internal improvement. In 
regard to that snbjf'Ct, the couniirs siuiated below the falls of our 
chift rivers, and some ahove. but cominuous to them, seem to be 
interested in the same system — ihat system whicii has for its object 
the im|)nnenntit of those rivers. 1 should tlierefore say, that from 
their geograpliical situaticni not only the counties of Person, Robe- 
son and C'olumhu-i ; bni wi h pr. per deference to the Judgment of 
the (leople and representatives ol iliose counties, Caswell. Chatham, 
Cuntberland ami Moore, are ccnmected in interest. And it seems 
that al), except tlie foor last, now side w iih th<- E-isi on this all impor- 
tan' snlijecr. I shmild therefore say, the second degree ef longi- 
tude west of \VH-hi!:gton. npoN the map wh" h I hold in my hand, 
classing the cmiotiis ihrongh whicli it passes in tlie Eastern or 
Western division, as they are supposed to hi for or against a Con- 
vetiiioii, is a more correct line. It passes thiough i'ersoii, near 
Ro.\lioron.ii;h, through the eastern jtait of Orairge. the stmth-west 
cornel of Wake, nearlv throiigli the centre of Cumberland, through 
the north-cast cornei- of Robeson, and ihrongh Columbus ; includ- 
ing arcoi'ilihg lo this aiiangement, more Eastern teriiiorj' in the 
"Western divisnm, than NVestern territory iti the Eastern tiivision. 
Sir, look upon the map, contrast tliese two divisions of the State^ 
and dofs it strike the senses, as such monstrous iti justice as gentle- 
nien would have us l»ejieve, that the greatei- sliare ofjmlitical power 
shiiuhl he lodged with the people of the East? 

But lei ns exaoiine the claim of tlie West, upon priiiciitle. It is 
urged, as if fedei'aj nmnbers were the only basis of rejiresentalion 
foiindtd in justice, and ouglit, therefore, to be adopted. Represen- 
tative govi rtiinent is lietter understood in the United States, both 
in theory and practicf, than in any other part of the world. In 
Some of the States, we find representation regulated by population j 
in ctthers, bj taxable inhabitants ; in some, one branch according 
to taxation, the other by taxable polls ; in some others, according 
to taxation and white population combined; in one, the Senate ac- 
cording to Cfiunfies, the other branch by federal numbers, as pro- 
posed by the resolutions; and in several, both branches by cout.'ies 
as with us. These modes are intended, each to secure the advan- 


tages of the pppresentative principle, and no donbf, do secure 
th'-m. T'n y Hi-f nio«^tly arltiu-ary ini'H''.s, for the Htfainment 
of rt^i'taiii puds. Upon preredenf therefore, oi- in refennre to the 
ends iifciiil aioveiiiiDfiit, wiiich oiitjht rrrtaiidy to be chiefly con- 
siden-d, «e have as niiirh riglit to insist ti|ion that mcde, adopted by 
our anres'ors, as gi'iitlemeii havetn insist upon iheirfavorilr basis. 
But let UK see how the East and \^ ist staijil. in regard tx Cedi pal 
numbers, population, and taxation. If a|)|iears from tite las! cen- 
sus, that the difference in fedi ral numbers, is upwards of 60.000 in 
favor of tlie West ; in federal p'tftulation between 9 ;>nd 10,000 also 
in fav 01 of the West ; but frmu the Rpjsoi l of Hn- Ctsmpttdller, it 
ajippars thai the amount of laxis paid by the East, exreeds the 
aUKUint paid by tlip Wesi upwards of six fhonsand dollars. N"W, 
Ml. Chairman, there is mie fact which we ought not liere to over- 
look. The West is a gold mining cnuntry, and has been for some 
years back. On that account, ppople iiave resorted thiiher (but 
with a few excepiions perhaps, to return again) not only from other 
Slates, hut from foreign countries ; and aLso from the Enst, wliicli 
has a double effect, one to swell tlie piipularion and taxation of the 
"West — the other, to diminish that of the East. Could a jiropep 
allowance be made, probably the West would still be enti'led to the 
greater share of political power, on the b^^sis of federal numbers : 
but on that of population, I ihiiik there is little doubt, but the East 
wouldhave it; &accordiug to taxation. I think there is as little doubt, 
that she woiilil be entitled loa greater share than she now has. Now, 
Mr. Chaiiman,why insist upr)n f deral numbi'rs? Wliy not upon tax- 
ation, or upon population ? Either, I iliink, would be as just a ba- 
sis. If our Western brethren are determined never to acq^uiesce 
in county representation, may we not insist upon either of those 
modes which will preserve our political influence in the government, 
with as much appearance of justice, as Western gentlemen upon 
that basis which they prefer. 

There is another view which I will submit. Government was 
instituted, not only to pieserve the civil lilierty of the governed and 
enable them to pursue their happiness, but also, foi- the pi-otection 
of pi-operty, as subservient thereto. If sufficient guards were not 
thrown around it by the laws of civil f^ociety, one id' the most uni- 
versal incentives to human exertion would cease to exist ; and tiiose 
grand enterprises, often so honorable to the actors themselves, and 
wliich tend to the advancement of a nation's prosperity and tclory, 
would seldom be witnessed. In the formation of civil government 
therefore, piojierly should not be overlooked. . It would seem, it 
creates an interest in the government, at to some extent, and 
accordingly the framers of our constitution, and most of of 
the other States, seem to have paid some regard to this truth, in 


ore;aiiizinjf their respective le.^islrtlive ileparfaients. Now, sir, it 
appoiirs fo me, ilint HiIr piinriple is itkiit iiecessai'y to lie consnlfptl 
in reference to diffrrent sections of a State, j^i'eatly di ■-proportioned 
in nialtli, and diffViing, from (heir natural silnation, in interest, 
as to important mea'^uros of policy, than in legard to tiie same com- 
intinitj' or ihe same section of a commnnity.wliose interest, in every 
respect is the ■same. In the one case, as well those who are in posses- 
sion of property, as those wlio are not, have a voire in elections ; 
and ihere will always be a sufficient number in the possession of 
piopei-ly to provide for its protection ; but in the otlier case, one 
section of country lias no influence in elections which take place in 
another, and is dispo>-ed rather to ))ursue that policy which its own 
inttiest requires, and particularly ti> render the burden of govern- 
ment as li_a;ht as possible, in regard to itself. And as it is propei'ty 
lipo'r which that burden chiefly falls, the necessai'V protection must 
be afforded in the arrangement of the legislative power. Accord- 
ing to this view, the East being greatly superior in point of we.iith, 
lias tlie greatest interi-sl in the gmernnient. And, sir, if two part- 
ners nre engaged in business, but unefpially interested, which has 
the best right to control ? 

\V lien we icfle<t upon these things, is there any reason why we 
should feel any remorse of conscience, for holding on to that poli- 
tical powt'r, which we enjoy under the present Conslitutinn ? But 
on the Contrary, is it not almost a matter of suipi ise, that our 
Western bretiiren should strive, with such unremiUed zeal, toover- 
tui-n a gover'nment, wtiich experience Iras found to be good, because 
under it the greatest share of political influence is itr the hands of 
their eastern br-eilir'en, when the mode of represeritation, which 
gi^es that influerrce, has been adopted bj sever^il States in the Uni- 
on, and when also, other modrs of representation, equally as just and 
equiti'ble as that so str-enunirsly insisted on, if not mor'c so, would 
give the same influence with little or- no variation i May we irot 
here intreat our western brethren, to remove ilrose *' local jealou- 
sies and divisions" which tliey so mirch di'pr-ecate, and which we 
equally depr^ecate, by their acqiriescence — by per rnitting this Con- 
■vention question to I'cst foi'ev er-, with eveir mor'e rt-ason, than they 
can urge us to remove liiem by a Convention. We ai-e contending 
in ^uppoi't of well tried institutions, thiy, for- iirnovation. 

Sic, this view also leads me to enqrrire into the motives, vvilh 
which this claim of power-, is so eager-lv pr'osecuted, in opposition 
to -uch str'ong C(rrrside!-ations against it. Are oui' western br-eihr-en 
influeiiced nrei-ely by their love of a principle, which they believe 
to be tir< only projjer one, or merely by tire lirst of power, to ac- 
quire the coiitio! HI the government, in oi'der- to pursm tire same 
policy, which their eastenr brethren are likely to pursue. No, sir. 


if they were disposcfl to piirsiip (he same policy, had they the con- 
trol, the coiisiilei-rttioiis against a Convi'tifioii Wiiiild |»-evail witJi 
tlieir jiati'liitism to irstoi'c harmony lo our countips by huryinsj in 
eteitial oblivion this qticstion of a Convention. In what respect 
then, would (ho i)oliry of our western brethren differ from 'hat, 
whicii we are likely to puisne ? As to that v.e can only conjecture ; 
bnt it is a very necessary conjectme nn the part of .he East and 
Cape Fear, I imagine, sir, we have been a iitlle too economical 
in our expenditures, for thi^ Wext. The system of internalim- 
provement, whicii Me should likely pisrsue, woahi n'lt be siffirii'.nt- 
ly grand and majniiifirent. Give them the nower they seek, and, 
in all prfibabiliiy, you v»'Ould. in a few years, see every dollar vo- 
ted out of the Treasury, towards wild and unprofitable schemes of 
internal improvement, and an oner'iis system of taxation resort- 
ed to, in fiirflierance of the same policy ; Rail-road« wonid becotne 
the Older oftliedaj, and rivers, thoS'> natural highways which 
the God of nature has fiiriiished for the couvenieuce of uiankiod, 
would be regarded as useless. The Central Rail-r<iad, witii late- 
ral brandies in the West, would pcih^ps hecoine a favorite prcK . 
jert. The publication alluded to by tlie gentleman from Ro.van, 
affords fiiime ground f)r such a Isf^lief. To cooipleii' su;h i work 
Would require millions. S'.ionid it ever be ;itlemi)!ed, iherefore, 
at tlie expense of Ihe giiverniHent. an oppressive system of taxa- 
tion mast he rpsorled to. The pr^idure of the West is transported 
to marker, at considerable trouble :iud expense ; the (»iMpIe of the 
East are more conveniently situated in t'lis respect ; the a-ivant.\ges 
of such a.Rail-road, therefurti. might more than cninpeiisate tlie 
people of the West, fi)r the taxes whicli tiiey miglit contribute, 
bift would afford poor reraunerati'in (o iliose nf tlie Sast aod C ipe 
Fear. If there was a reasonaUif ground to «iip;iose. thai such a 
sciicrae would be piofitahle. there would be S'>me indu'emenf for 
us to submit to high faxes for a while, in prospeci of, perha()S. en- 
tire relief hereafter, by ineans of the revenue whicli sHch a work 
wiiuld afford. And perhaps, from the splendid success of tlie New- 
York Canal, there are sume who believe, this Rail-road pioject 
would be equally successful. I. for one, cannot believe so. Cast 
i. your eye upon a map, Mr. Chairman, take a geograptiical surey, 
an<l see what an extent of back countiy there is, wliose tiadc the 
city of New York, the first Cionmercial city in the [Jniled S^a'.e-i, 

and among the first upon the Gl>he. dritws through that canal - 

Then turn to this contemplated Rail-road, and view the hack 
country, whose trade we migln reasonably calculate on. and yon 
disiuver a wide difference. Shall we diaw to it any of the trade 
of Snutii-Caioliua? or that of Virginia ? Very iilth' I fear, if any. 
We must veiy upmi our own State. Butniuch of the surplus pro- 


diice of the West is consumed by thosi^ ens:aa;e(l in the £^t,M mining 
biisitipss, and bi>sides. at the oii<i of this Riii-i-o;id, ne -^lioriM 'lave 
no rity like that of N'-w-Yok, to operate as a Miiisjoet npim the 
trade nf the sui-ronndiiii; romiti-y. Let ih not tlien, be deceived 
by Ihi' success of the New-York Canal. Sii', I fi'.ir, that heavy 
t&xc-i would not only he r^e!■^•ssaI•y to con^trnrt such a road, iiut 
also to kei'p it in repair. When sni-li would be mmw of rhe nioha- 
bli- fi'oils of that system, which oni' w<'stein biethren «oul(l FikeJy 
poi'sui', should the\ acqiiii-e 'h-,- conti'ol of our couoril.s, sh ill we 
con^ient ti) a Convention ? SinII we run Ihi' risk of pei-petnal tax- 
atiorl, for the exchisi\e hentfit of one section of the St ite only ? 

But it is said " the Convi ntiim shall d' teimine nn the expedi- 
enet of I'fmininjj ilo- Sea! of Govt-rtimei.t." This, I conceive, is 
til" >\vn oni as a bait to tiie Capi-FcHr: (t!ic gentleman from 
R ihniond will pardon the expression; I a-sure him I intend not 
thi- -.lia^htest disrespect — I jj;i\e him credit fof therandor and Ciank- 
hes'^ which he di«p!ayed on a former ocasion : foi can it hf be- 
cause j^enilemen really believe it is expedient to remove the Seat 
of Government ? Sir, there are the strontr''^t consiileralions a/^ainst 
it. To say noihint; about the [ded.s;i'd fai^h oftheSt;ite — the pub- 
lic pi 'pii'y which must he sacrificed in easeof I'fmoval of the Seat 
of Gi»i ■•rocienl — the i-rmains of the old Capitol, and quarry of 
excillt-nt Stone in the immediate vicinity ofthf plucf, which sliould 
be used in tebuildina; — tln» differeuce in the expense of rebuilding 
liere, and buildint!; ai Fajetteville [for that is the pi ;ue whose pre- 
tensi(»ns are urged] vvhich must be very considerable — does not the 
formei [iiKSsess advaiitaj2;es over the latter place, in central position 
and health, wliicii give it a decided preference r Can any conside- 
rations infavQiof F^iyetteviile be contrasted with these. when viewed 
in reference to til* true interest 'f the St;iteat large? Ithink not. This 
provision in the resolutions then, must bf intended as :in inducement 
Jor the Cape Fe^ir to go into a Convention, and i-un the risk of 
the evils which I have been endeavoring to pourtray, for the mere 
contingent advantage of getting the Seat of of Government to Fay- 
etteville — perhaps as an intimation of the price which will be giv- 
en for that political influence, which is sought to be obtaimd by a 
Convention. And to render it more tempting, the greatest benefits 
have been represented as likely to flow from sucli i-enioval. Gen- 
tlemen would have us believe, that it would render Fayetteville a 
great commercial city, a second Ne-w York, and Nortli-Carolina a 
commrrcial S'ate. Let not genilemen of the Ca'pe-Fear over- 
rat' (he advaiitajSjes which (liev would derive from the removal of 
the S. ;it of G'vernment. Of wha' imjioitant advaritantage would 

it br 

in .1 (loiiini'ri 

-il jioin! o' icw? rhe .inniunt of money spent 

here now by the ineiubers, would be spent at Fayetteville, and so 


benefit a few merchants, sliop-kcepers and boarding-houses — it 
wiiiiM iidd siiniftliiiie; to the |)(ipiilatii)ii of (he place, and tljcr^by 
eiilHif^i' a litdi- tlie demand for the iiecfissaiies of lif', raised Just 
in its immediate viciniiy. But what comnn'rcial advantages w .luld 
it cimfer ? Would it add any facilities to the transiiortation of 
produce, eilhcr to, ordom rhe place? Would n. it the same barri- 
ers which exist between Fajetteviile and th<< West still continue ? 

The i<lea tiial siirii removal will render us a commtTcial people 
is less plausihie; indeed it is visionary. The situation of our Siate 
forbids the belief, however desirable -such a result may be. Look 
at our sea-coast — behold the satid-bars, shoals and dangeious capes 
vvliich it presents; and wiiich seem by nature, to have beeri de- 
signed as some protection against tlie sudden attacks of iiiv ndiug 
foes, and to have desitned us essentially to he what we have liere- 
tofore been, an agi icuit'iral people. Could you remove thise sand- 
bars, shoals and cipes, and give us lo!ig and navigable riveis, ex- 
tending far up into tiie interior of the State, we might hope ro be- 
come a commercial peoiile. 

Bur, althoiigii yoii cannot overcome natural obstacles so f^r as 
to render our State a comm<'rcial one to any considerable •■xt.iit, 
yet, liy removing the barriers between Fajetteville and the West, 
you may increase the roniinei'rial importance of that |>lace. With 
a view to the arcom[)lishni'-ni of that object woilld it be safe for 
the people oftlic Cape-Fear lo suffer political power to remain where 
it is, or to transfer it to the West. If the i-esult should prove the 
conjectui'i' to be true, that the Central Rail-road w>nild become a 
favorite pclieme with the We*.t, it might, with more safety, be |)er- 
mitted to remain where it is. Should this Rail road he coinjdeted 
and kept uj) at the expense of the government, or otherwise, of 
what advantage would be the situation of Fayettevilh', at the head 
of boat navigation of one of the finest river- in the State ? None j 
for although the Cape-Fear and Yadkin Rail-Road siiould go into 
operation, it would possess advantages which \v<iuld euahir it to 
command the trade of the West, it would be a more direct and ex- 
peditious route to the occati, and free from the delay, ti-ouble and 
expense of loiiding and unloading, and double connnissiuns, which 
the other route viould incur. ji 

When the trifling advantage of the removal of the Seat of Gov- 
ernment to Fayetteville is contrasted with the evils which a Con- 
vention would probably entail, I trust gentlemen of the Cape-Fear 
will di'iiberate long, before iliey give their sanction to such a pro- 
position as thise resolutions involve. 

Mr. Weaver, rose and addressed the Chair, in substance as 
follows : 


Mr. Chairman : If I have rofrect views on this subject, of 
which the coiiiuiitifP will jiidj^e mm liPHriitS them, there arc two 
tilings to he coiisifiei'cd in decidina^ (iie tjiiestion now before the 
coniiuiitec. Tin* first tiling to be deii'i'inined is, wiiat constitiiles 
4111' line »ii i proper basis of rcpreseiitatioii in a republican repre- 
senliitive Govermnent. It will tlien be necessary, in the second 
place, 10 coiiii)iiie snch basis of rcjM-esi'ntation, thus ascertained, 
with the one esiablishcii by the present Constitution of North- 
Ctfolina, with a view of ascertainina; the true character and ex- 
tent of the defects, if any tiiere be, in relation to our representa- 
tion, as hasid by the Constitution. In relation to these two par- 
ticulars I wish to make a few remarks. 

First, in relation to the true and proper basis of representation : 
The objects of lce;islation ongiit to be Ih'' proieciion of persons and 
property: from whicii it toMows tliat iieitlier persons — that is po- 
pulation — nor property — that is laxadon, onajht to constitute the 
sob' basis of rcpiescnt.ition ; hut that both persons and property — 
that is, jiopulation and taxation, oUi^lit to betaken into the account 
in f].\ing a true basis of representaiioii. How far these two piiii- 
eiples outylit to be consnlied in fixing the basis of representation, 
I shall now undertake to siiow. 

It is projiosed in the lesolntions on your tabic, to base represen- 
tation in the House of Commons, upon federal nuinl)eis. This ba- 
sis includes the whole while iiopulation, and three-fiClhs of the 
slaves. And here I would remark, that Kla^es are not entitled to 
be represented as persons, but merely n'^ property. It was so set- 
tled in relation to thr B'l-deral Government. The Southern States 
agreeing to iiave three-fifilis of their slaves taxed, were permiited 
to have three fifths of the same represented in the Congress of ilic 
United Stales, It is only on tiie principle of their being taxable, 
that they are entitled to he represented at all. And I think it will 
be found, upon examiiiaiion, that three-filths of ihe slave popula- 
tion will, at all times, include the whole nu's'ber ol' taxable siav€sj 
so that basing the repieseotation on lederal numbers, we give to 
tiie slaves the full amount of their i epresentative weight; or ratiier, 
we give to the owners of sla>cs. a sufficient giiarantec tiuit ttieir 
property and their rights shall be respicied, 

1 will now advert to one other species of property; and which, 
in my opinion, is the only species of projierty tliat now remains to 
be provided for : it is landed or real esiaie. This property is, at 
present, protected in the Senate, but. as we shall presently show, 
in a manner very unequal. If land. d, or real estate, is a proper 
subject of representative proteciion, the de-iree of that protection 
canon!} be ascertained by the value tiseieof, or the amount of land- 
tax paid to the goversiment, which is in consideration of said legis- 


iative protection. If this position be correct, representation in the 
Senate oiiglit to bo res;iilate<) bj- land-taxation alone. 

Ap|)ly this principle to orir present mude of reprenentation by 
counties, and yon will discover (my premises admitted) that there 
exists a radical defect, or want of equality, in tiie mode of repre- 
sentation ill the Senate. By referrin.^ to the Comptroller's report, 
you will find that the land-tax paid wittsin the different counties 
in this State, varies from S^O 39 to S912 71 ; that this difference 
is not entirely Eastern and Western, but a wide difference exists 
between counties, both in tiie East, and in the West. 

There are 36 counties in lliis State that pay a land-tax of glS, 
202 70 ; while there are 28 other counties, eiglit of which are 
Western, and the remaining twenty. Eastern counties, which only 
pay a land tax of 85,338 86, Snrclj, sir, no geiitleraan will say 
that this is equality : nor do I think that any gentleman will se- 
riously call in question the position which I have taken, as to the 
proper basis of representation. Admit tiie fact, that all taxable 
property ought to be represented equally, or else not at all, and 
you are at once driven into a ridiculous, and even ruinous situa- 
tion. The tax imposed upon billiard-tables by the laws of tiiis 
State, is §500 cacls — a sum gieatei' than tiie entire tax paid by 
several individual counties in this State. Will any gentleman, 
however, contend that a billiard-table ought to be represented in 
either branch of the Legislature ? Surely not. The same might be 
said in relation to a great many items in the list of taxables. So 
far then from its being proper, in fixing the basis of representation, 
that all taxes should be taken into the account, the extension of 
the principle, beyond iand and negroes, would not only be unrea- 
sonable, but in many cases, ruinous. 

If it be contended, that slaves are of a mixed nature, participat- 
ing both of jiroperty and person in their political character, yet 
from no view of the subject can it be demonstrated, that they are 
not as fully and fairly represented, upon the principle of federal 
numbers, as they are, in eitiier case, or both, entitled to be ; for 
although they be men, they have neither political rights, nor any 
thing else, as freemen, to be protected. Nor are they bound as 
freemen are to protect their coiinti-y's rights, or shed their blood 
in her defence, in the hour of danger. Tiien admit slaves to be 
men, yet while slaves, they are not to enter into the basis of re- 
presentation, even as men, much less as freemen. 

But it was suggested yesterday, by the gentleman from the town 
of Halifax (Mr. Long) that in all probability, aspiring dema- 
gogues would seek to exclude slaves altogether, and to base repre- 
sentation upon white population alone. I suppose tlie gentleman 
means Western demagogues, as it could not now be the interest ov 
• '" 


poliry of any Eastern ilema.a;ogiic to seek tluis fo exclude federal 
iiiiiiibi'i'-;, and .nlo|)i iliHi of \v liic piipiiln'inn. But (^(Mitlemi'ii are ' 
wiistWiCH, when tiiey siiii])iisc (liiii it wiiild l)e to the interest of tl)e 
"West to base repi-eseiMH'ini upon white |)0|iuIation only. Gentle- 
nieti may be, and no doubt haNe been, led into this error by the 
Consideration that the lart^ number of negroes are now in the 
E.'Stern ronnties ; and they seem to infer from tliis. that gentlemen 
Would |)iefei' white po|iulation alone. But 1 would liave gentle- 
men to know we have slaves in the West; and no one of or- 
dinary discerninetit, (ijion taking a view of the Western part of 
this Stale — its extensive territory — the fertiliiy of its soil, and 
the genial climate which pei'vades it. can doubt for a inoment, that 
Mestern Cai'oliria is destined to contain the burthen, not only of 
■wliiti', but aisii of the slave po|iulatiiin. A^ estei^n gentli-men, Wiiiild, 
therefdir, be found a^' I'Cady as Easiern, to give to slaves all the 
repieseniative v\eight tn wiiicli their character and coinlition poli- 
tically entitle ihein. Representatioii by federal numbers is our 

GiMiiIemen have said much as to tlie dinger of calling a Con- 
vention, an<i of (lissolv ing oursehes into « hat some have been pleased 
to call onroiiginal ■'jemeni^; bm the (ieo|(le iMve virtue, iiitelligi-nce 
ami p di'iotisui snfli( ientto enable tiiem to amend these radical iKfects 
in theii' (Jonstitutiioi, with(Mit degenerating into anarchy, or in 
any wise e'idangering theii- political safety. To deny it, wiitild 
be a lihel upon the improvement of the present age. But it seems 
that geiiilemeo, with a view, perhaps, of evading this question, or 
of weakv iiing the claims v\'liich it has upon their undeisiandingSf 
have reasoned iliemselves into fatal, I liad almost said irretrieva- 
ble ifror. Tlie genfleraan fi'O'u H.ilifax, (Mr. Long) entertained 
douuis as to man's ha\iog, in reality, a natural st ite, by whicii I 
8U|>;ose lie oi-anr a state nf equal rights. I'lic. genlleman from 
Bei tie (Mr. Outlaw) comes out dicidedly on this point, and as- 
serts that there is no sucli thing ; bui on tiie contrary, that tiie mi- 
norit> have as just a ligl;' to govern the majority, as the majority 
have to govern the minosity. Tnese were not the views of those 
patriotic worthies win> laid the loundatioii of our country's inde- 
pciidence and glory. Hear their language : " We hold this truth 
to bi' self evident, that all men are creiitrd equal." And, Mr. 
Chairman, this is still a self-evident truth, and it would therefore 
be an insult to the common nndi'rstandiiig of mankind to attempt 
its proof. * 

[Here Mr. Outlaw rose to explain. He said he did not intend 
to have stated that there was no such thing as i-qual rights^ but 
only that there was no such thing in this government.] 


Mr. Weaver resumed. There is no surh thin.i^ as eqnalify o? 
ritfhtsiii the goveiniiieiit <if Ni)itli-CHr'iIitia ; mid llii-., Mr Chair- 
iiiHii, is, in trutli. vvlim we are ciiiiteinljiijs; for — equal lis^his and 
p^i^ile.!Jes — an equal |iarti('i|iaiiori in ilie lilessiujEfs as well as bur- 
thens of sorie'y. But tlie js^eiiileinan fiom Halifax induljjei: with 
iTiurJ) apjiareiit satisfartion, in a CDntrast vhiili lie diew heiwt-en 
our hatipy situation, and that of several of the powers of Eurnjie ; 
nor was his pati'intir pt ide in the least ahattd bv ronlrastinaj our 
situation with the w^^ak .md morbid republics of South America. 
I rould not forbear following out the iina!?e, and congratulating luy 
happy country upon the^ uiany advantages which she possesses over 
Atiica itsi'If. But I was sorry to find my worthy friend leave the 
comp ii'ison wi'lioot once placing Noi (h-Carolina by the si(W of 
her sister States, and seeing how she stiiids in rela'ion to them, 
as one of the original States. Why did ho hot conipare her with 
New-York, Pennsylvania or Virginia? Sucli a C(>mparison would 
not have been so grat<-ful to his io\e of country. North-Carolina, 
instead of vieing with the original States in impiov^ meni, is far 
outstripped by many of her yciuhger sisters. North-Carolina was 
one of the first Slates in the Union to foiir. a Constitution and (ode 
of laws. Her Constitution was formed hy nien just emerging from 
the bands of tyranny and oppression, vi.ith hiil f-w ptactical ad- 
vantages in the science of se!f-gi)\ernnient. This Constitution is, 
therefore (these circumstances considered,) a raosi noble pi oduction,- 
and must be acknowledged to do undying honor to the wisdotn and 
patriotism of our fathers ; but it is no disparasjenieiit either to h^ ir 
wisdom, or patriotism, to'say. that it is now defective. It is -aijier 
a matter of sui prise, that an instrutneni could then have been form- 
ed, that would after the lapse ol half a century develope so few 

A few remarks, Mr. Chairman, in relation to what was said by 
the gentleman representing the county of Halifax, in opposition to 
one alteration proposed li\ tiie Resolutions on joui? lahli , namely/ 
that of biennial sessions of the Legislature. This gentleman, (Mr- 
D'uiel,) seems to ai)prehend the most fatal consequences growng 
OL.i of this alteration. He says, that laws of a very dangeious cha- 
racter migiit be passed, and seems to think that, to wait two full 
years bHore a repeal of such laws could be attained, would he per- 
fectly intolerable. Now, sir, I cannot see any thing real in all 
this. It is a fact, that one year is generally a time too short to 
test the real operation of a>iy law ; and fnrthei- — that la vs which 
may be in themselves salutary, when once in full operation, may 
often, like wheels new'y put together, w'ork roughly at the'com- 
raencemeat. Ami hence it is. that inan^ laws are repealed by the Le- 
gislature of this State, before the real effect of such laws has been 
fully tested. 


A,^asn, this gentleman imagines, if tlie Legislature should meei 
only "ince in two years, that such a multiplicity of business wciuid 
cr>.vvil up'iM them, as would require thein to sit mucli longer than 
they now do. In this, too, I think tlie gentleman is mistaken. — 
From an experience of two years, instead of one, the representa- 
tives of the people would be better informed, as to the real evils 
•which required to be reinoved by legislative inteiference, and there 
is good reason lo believe that tlieir attention would be more gene- 
B-aily directed to proper objects of legislation, tlian ours can possi- 
bly be now; and their numbers considerably reduced, tiierecanbe 
no doubt, but they would do business faster and better than it could 
possibly be done here. It would not be at all surprising, if a 
Legislature compi>sed of two-thirds of the number of members which 
are now requir-ecl, should do the business in four, w\nc\i now re- 
quires dght weeks. 

By ado()tiiig this amendment, it is very reasonable to expect an 
annual saving of more than one-lialf the legislaii\e expenses of the 
State. We may in round numbers, save 825,000 annually. 

But the gentleman from Halifax (Mr. Daniel) lias been kind 
enough to remind us, that we have already received the "loaxes 
and fishes." Why? the gentleman says our Senators in Congress 
are Western men ; the West lias had Governors, Judges, Speak- 
ers. &c. &c. It is so, sir, but how does this happen? Is it be- 
cause the West have a majority of votes in the Leijislature, and 
therefore through mere sectional feelings and partialities, elect a 
itian from among themselves, without regard to his talents or his 
piinciples? No, sir, if is rather because the West have at all 
times been able to produce men of the first character and talents, 
— men whose moral, political and intellectual greatness commands 
respect from all parties, and thereby influences all parties to join 
in electing them. These are tlie " loaves and fishes," sir, and yet 
these are the considerations urged by gentlemen why no Conven- 
tion is necessary. 

But, sir, we are not to be so easily gulled in this way. We 
want the rights and privileges of freemen. We are told that no 
priivision is made in the Constitution for its future alteration or 
amendment ; and we have been further reminded of the fact, that 
we have solemnly sworn to support tiiis Constitution. All this 
may be very true, yet the right, the inherent and unalienable right 
of a people, to reform their government or amend their Constitu- 
tion, in a deliberate and regular manner, is most unquestion-ible. 
You must revoke the laws of nature, before you can fetter down a 
nari'ui, or community, in this way. 

It has bein said again, that equal rights was not so much the 
object of Western gentleiBen ,; but that tiiey want to handle the 


public funds more readily. They want to carry on works of great 
Internal Improvement— llipy wish to spend the ptiblii fimds with 
prodityaliiy. 1 would ask, sir, if this be a fact ? It has been -^aid 
that "History is philosophy teaching by example ;" and what does 
historv say. in illation to tliis matter ? Docs it accord with what 
the gentleman has staled? Or dois it not rather repudiate the 
charge, as being base and untoundeil, when preferred against gen- 
tlemen in the West. Where lia\e the funds of the State been squan- 
dered i Cn levelling the mountains of the West, or deepening the 
channels of the East I Let iiistory deride this question. 

Again, Mr. Ciiairman, it has been said, that this is a mere 
"sciamble" for power. If, sir, power means rij-Zi^ then indeed 
are w<' striving for it, — then is there a genera! scuffle for right; 
and he is a traitor to liimself, who does not unite in the genei'al 
struggle for right, that now agitates 'lie woi-ld. Is there any thing 
in.!;-loi-ious in a man's contending fi>r his rights ? It is only when 
a man contends for that to which lie is not entitled, that his con- 
duct is rendered odious. Arc we not entitled to what we claim ? 
Why, it is said the East have weaiih and population equal to the 
ratio of their reprtseniation. All we want is th:»tto which we are 
reasonably entitled. If tiie land is in the East, and if tlie taxes are 
paid in the East, as has been iutimated, then the East cannot lose 
by it. What we want, is a fair and honorable adjustment of this 
mattt^r, according to principles which ought to govern in all civil 
institutions of this kind. And Mr. Chairman, wherever we show 
an unwillingness to be governed by the great and fundamental 
principles of rei)ublicanism, then, sir, hold us up to the execration 
of an impartial world, and the common censnre of mankind. But 
let tiiose who oppose tliis struggle for a fair and honorable adjust- 
ment of our tlifficulties, knou tliattbeir conduct, too, will be judg- 
ed of by mankind; and that they likewise will be rewarded by 
posterity, according to their doings. 

We do not want more than equal rights and privileges with our 
Eastern friends ; and we believe it is all important for this matter 
to be amicably settled. At present, the Slate is laboring under 
strong party excitement, and sectional jealousies. The situation 
of JNorth-Carolina, at this time, is truly a deplorable one. to everj' 
true and generous patri(!t. Her interests disjointed and shattered; 
and her le:^islative halls jjresent little more than one continued 
scene of intemperate party rage, and factional strife ! Disgusted 
with such a state c»f things, your noble, generous and enterprising 
youth, have been for years flying from your country, and ai-e now 
adorning the bar, the bench, and t!ie legislative halls of neaidy 
half the States in the Union. How' long, I would ask. shall tliis 
stare of things" continue? Let gentlemen pause, and ponder well 
this matter. 


But I have trespassed too lon;^ upon the attention of the rom- 
mitii'c. Iff, ill till' coui'se of oiy remarks, have s.^id autcht riiicii- 
iatod fo wound til." fcriiiigs iil' aii^ g('.iitlem;ni, I regret it, and beg 
him '•! be asstucd that ii was not my intention to wmmd the fiel- 
ing^i of any member of this cotninittee. 1 am yotiiij^ and inexperi- 
eiicrd, and liavr tlierefure. chiefly to regrei, that a lubject of so 
rtiiK ii importance coihi not tind in me an abler advocate. But if 
I CdUld iiave the \aiiity to believe that any tbinu; I iiave been able 
to sav, wrmld, in th'' least, ailvunre this all iinpoi tant measure, I 
should esteem this the li»pp est moment of my life. 

Mr. FisHKii arose to address the committee, and commenced by 
observing, that in the course of what he had to say, he w >uld en- 
deavour to avoid all remarks thtt inigbi havea tendency to arouse 
sectional prejudices, w liicli unf iitunately already existed to too 
great an ex'ent in this Lei!;islature, and in the Stateat large. Nor 
waf it his puipose to deli\er fo tlie House a studied speech, made 
lip of H weiy declamntiiiii, and finely fiirtied periods. A few plain 
argiiin- ms, b ised on fai t«, and figures, will ( nnipose all I have to 
say. Eien if I wen- disposed to go fartiier, the state of my lungs 
will not permit uie to do so. 

First, a Word or two. as to the Resolutions before us. Some 
resrrets have been expressed that tin If est were not united amimg 
theuisrheson these resoiiitious. Mr F. said lie wasfdly aware of the 
caos" of tliese divisions, but C(oisidered it a matter of no imp irianre. 
The object we have in view is to di;5cuss the subject of Convention, 
without ..iiy hope of |Mssing the resolutions. This was expected 
from IIS by tin' West and by the East, and we ought not to disap- 
point ihe expectniion. Alihougli liis agency in bringing fotward 
the resolutions vn as kno'.\n. lie would take occ;ision to say they 
were not in ail respects, whit he would prefer, but they were pre- 
sented on the iiriiiciple of co7/i;jroj?iJse, and a compromise always 
implies that each (tarty should tcixe up sometiiing in order to meet 
on middle ground. He was well aware that on a subject of this 
naturr. vslr re p-ejiidires were so strong, it was almost as difficult 
to meet on mi die j;rouiid a-> to carry the whole question ; neither 
party v\ere disposed loyield. This su'ject of Convention «as like 
an unfortunate man, he bud once read of — ttiis man liad one sood, 
and one defeciiv.e eye. He sent for tv\o ai-tists to paint his like- 
ness ; one happened to be liis fi-iend. the other his enemy. When 
his friend [iaiiifc d him, he selet ted he side of his face having the 
good ejM% when his enemy set to work he chose the other side, and 
repiesinted the defective eye. So it was wiih poor Convention; 
the fi lends of the measure saw nothing but irood. ^\hi!e itseiiemes 
saw nolhiiig but evil ; but rert linly there is ,i inidcle view of this 
subject, and moderate meti of both sides ought to take it. 

Mr. F. said, jajentlcmen were tyo niurh in tlip habit winn ilis- 
cussiiij^ the subji'Ct. ti plate it on the efmniKls Hf East mi:c1 ff esi. 
The true qiiestioii was between large aiirl sm(tll.fuu..X'us. He ueiit 
on to state the (aiise and origin of tiii'* Eastern and Western fe iii^g, 
and asseried lliat it grew allogetlur out of liit- circiiinst.iiiiM's under 
wliich till- Seat of Governinent was located at R. Icigli It was an 
unfortunate division of parties, one ha<l greatly retarded the 
Statr ill every liiiid of ini|)ri)veinent, and would continue to do so 
as long as it existed — and it would exist until a Convention could 
be obtained, and the Constitution atnended. 

But, said Mr. F. let ns ajiproacli tlie qnesiion, and see on what 
grounds we wish a Convention. Some swy, all we want is power. 
Tliis is iinkiirJ in otir (jpijonents. Why suspect us of an iisqinre 
motive, when we cmi give open, fair, and unanswerable reasons 
for desiring a Convfution. 

No, sir, we are not seeking after power, we are only asking for 
equal rights. We wish a Convention, because we know that the 
Constitution is defective, and requires amendment. 

A government to be just, said Mr. F. should be equal in all its 
operati .tis ; its benefits an<i its burdens should fall equally on all, 
the object is tiie good of the people, and tiie rights of the people 
are i qual. At tiiis day and age, he hoped it was not necessary to 
prove the soiindness of tliese principles ; they will hardly be denied 
in this House. Now, sir, if we can show that the Constitution of 
N<irlh-Car(ilina acts unequally on the people of the State, our case 
will certainly be made out. Passing over all miiior defects in the 
Constiiutioii, I wilt now proceed to show the unequal and unfair 
representation of the people of North-Carolina in this General 

As J before remarked, i deprecate the division of this question 
into Eastern and Western, but as some who have preceded me in 
the debate, have taken that view and have urged that tlie Western 
cotiiities liave no cause to complain, let me meet them on their own 
ground with a plain calculation or two. 

I. View — TFhite Population. 
27 Western Counties, contain 281,069 souls, send to Legislature 81 members. 
37 Eubtern Counties, contain ■ 192,465 " " " 111 members. 

88,604 ' 30 

The Eastern Counties with 88.604 white souls iess send 30 mem- 
bers more, than the Westei-u Counties. 

II. View — White and Black Population. 
27 Western Counties, 37J 424 souls, 
37 Eastern Counties, 346, ■2^ " 

81 members. 
Ill " 




III. View — 6 Large and 24 Small Counties. 

Orange, Lincoln, Rowan, Buncombe, Guilford and Rutlievlbrd, contain a popu- 
lation of 106, 174 souls. 

Tyrrel, Lenoir, Wasliington, Columbus, Jonc-s, Haywood, Macon, H)d ■, Greene, 
Carterel, Camden, Cliowai), Brunswick, A-;he, Onsinw, Moore, Giles, Bladen, 
Perquimons, Cabtrius, Hertford, Martin, Nash and Kichroond, in all :i4 counties, 
contain a population of ...;... 101,925 

24 (S/na// Counties, 101.925 souls, send 72 members. 
6 iarye Counties, 106,17 i " send 18 " 


Here we see a population of 101,925 sntils, in some parts of the 
State, send 72 members to the Lej^islature, while n greater po|)uia- 
tion, in olher parts oC the State, send only 18 members, or 54 less. 
IV. View. — 10 Large Counties contrasted ivilh 10 small ones. 

Burke, Brunswick, 

Buncombe, Chowan, 

Guilford, Colunnbus, 

Lincoln, Gates, 

Rowan, Hyde, 

Orang-e, Jones, 

.Stokes, Lenoir, 

M (iklenbur^-,' Tyrrel, 

• Cumberland, Washington, 

Kutlierlurd, Camden. 

10 Larg-e Counties, 141,218 souls send 30 memters. 

10 Small Counties, 33,326 souls " 30 members. 

107,892 difference. 

Here we see a population of 14 1, 21 8 souls, in one part of the 
Slate, send 30 members to the Legislature, while 33,326 souls, in 
another p,irt of tlie State, send just the same number ; one man in 
the 10 small counties, has the jiolitical weight of 4 men in the 10 
large counties. 

Tliere are 23 counties, all in the East except two, wliich contain 
only 91,405 white souls, and tliere are 6 counties in the West, 
v>hicli contain 92.305 white souls. 

The 91,405 souls in the East, send 69 members, while the 92,305 
souls in the West, send only 18 members, or 51 less. Tn tlie 23 
counties every 1,333 souls send one member; in the 6 counties 
every 5,11 1 send inie member, or one man in the 23 counties has five 
times the political weiglit of one man in the 6 counties. 

But it is said, that population alone is not the true basis of re- 
presentation. I admit it ; I hold, that property should be felt as 
well as population. In peace and war, |)roperty sujiports Govern- 
ment, as well as population, and one of the great objects <>f Go- 
vernment is to protect propeity. The true basis therefore, is pro- 
perty and popuiatittn combined on some just and fair arrangement. 
On this principle, (herefore, let us see if the Constitution is just, 
and our representation equal. 


V. View. 
The couiilies of Cumberland, Lincoln, ii.wan. Orange, Rdgecomb, Mecklen- 
burg-, Gr I'lville, New-Hanover, Wake, Halitax, Nurtliampton and Craven, pay 
taxes, $j4,105 39. 

The CDUntits nf Aslie, Brunswick, Beaufort, .Iciiips, Lenoir, C .reret, Currituck, 
Camdtn, Onflow, fyirel, C'lumlius, H)de, Haywood, VVashnigton and Greene, 
pay taxes. $6,964 .55. 

15 counlies paying $6,964 55 send 45 members. 
12 counlies paying 24 105 39 send 36 members. 

V, Difference, 17,U0 84 9 

If taxation was the b.rtsis, ihe tSrotinties would have 20 members, 
or 25 less tliaii they now have, and the \ti Cduisucs would have 69 
menibeis, i»r 33 more riiuii at [tifSfiif. ' 

It" taxation and ii'ipulaiion coinbined, fnrmed the basis of repre- 
seiitatioii, Iheii Ihe 15 counlies v\ould h-tve 18 nn'mbeis, nv 27 less 
than now, and the 12 counties would have 60 members or 24 more 
than non. 

'VI. View. 
The 10 large counties named in View 4, pay $16,735 
The 10 small counties there named, pay 5,563 

Difference, 811,172 
Whiie population, un pi'infi()les of cqualit*, v^ould jjive the 10 
large coun'.ies 59 members, <hey now h ive 30 5 would give the 10 
-small ones 14 members, they now have 30. 

Taxalion, would ft-ive tlie 10 large ruu.fies 48 members, or 18 
?)io?-e tliau now ; woiild give the 10 small countiis 16 members, or 

14 less tiiaii now. * 
Taxation /.ud population combined, would give the 10 lar'ge coun- 
ties 53 memhors, or 23 more than now ; 10 small counlies 15, op 

1 5 less thati miw. 

VII. View — Expences of the State Government. 

Total expence of Ihe Statf, $81,779 

■\Vhich gives to i-ach county, $1,270 

Now tliire are 45 »'<iunties out of the 64. which <io not pay their 
portion of expence. that is. each county costs ttie Stale §1.270 — 
nml there are as many as 45, neither of whicli pay the amount, yet 
tiiese 45 counties send 135 members nut <if 196. 

Tliere are 14 counties that do not paj their part if the expences 
of the Legislature alone, or do not pay their own membei-s wiih in- 
cidental expences, and yet these 14 send 42 members, or really one 
fourth of the whole. 

VIII. View. 

The expence of each county to the Stale is Sl,2fO. 

Columbus, Hydf- and Tyrrell, paid last year into the Public Treasury, JI, 144 50 
air three less than the charge of one to the State. 

Add Currituck and Car'eret, and the 5 will pay $2 085 not as much as Wake' 
i'one, and yet_they send//«een members, while Wake send* only Wree, 


IX. View — Congressional Districts. 

6 Eastern Congression il Districts, iiave a popiu ition of ]/'4,829 souls— pay 
35,216 '{ >IIars, and semi 105 members. 6 Wes.ern Disti-iois hive a populatioii 
of 265 991 souls — pay 27,998 Jollars, and send 87 meuibrrs. 

O', i mixed bisis, the 6 Eastern Uis'iricts would be entitled to 86 members, and 
(he 6 Wtstern, to 9-, nir'.noers. 

X. View — Population of 4 Small and 4 Large Counties compared. 

\\ hite. r.iud. 

Brunswick, 3,614 6,525 

Ch wan, 2,761 6,688 

Coltimlius, 3,001 4,141 

Washington, 2,759 4,541 

11,535 21 91,T 

While. T'tal. 

Lincoln, 17,604 22,625 

Rowan, 14,460 20,796 

Orang-e, 15,908 23.875 

Mecklenburg, 12,791 20,076 

60.763 87,372 

There are 13 counties in the State each confaininj^ a larger popu- 
latinii than those 4 small counties, and 3 otiiers, each containing an 
equal (vipiilalion. 

if Columbus 18 entitled to 3 members, tlien nn the basis of equality 
the 4 larger couniies above named would be entitled as follows : 

On White population. White & Black. On Taxation. Mixed basis. 
Lincoln, 18 18 18 18 

Rowan, 15 15 18 18 

Orange, 15 15 21 18 

Mecklenburg, 12 15 18 15 

Th<is we see whether you take White population, or Whiie and 
Blai k, or Taxafi;>n, oi' Taxation and Population mixed, it is equally 
clein' r^at our representalion is uuequal in the highest degree. 

Li : us see how it stands in point of effective force, according to 
Militia returns : 


, Perquimons, 556 

Carl erei, 540 

Greene, 419 

Brunswick, 361 

Columbus, 438 

Halifax, 445 

Jones, 34S 

1 AVashington, 420 

Tyrrel, 4-59 

Total, 3,984 
9 Counties with a militia of 3,964 men, send 36 members. 

Lincoln, 2,147 

Mecklenburg, 1,756 



2 Counties with a Militia of 3,903 men send 6 members. Kowan contains 1,683, 
Stokes 1,662; even youthful Maccn 735 Militia. 

And liore, said Mi. F. let me firoji a word in ansviei- to «liat 
had bern said in thr cnursc of the debate, as respects thesinail snm 
paid by Macon. Wliy is it that Macon does not pay mnre? Be- 
cause you keep Iter lands out of market. Let 'he law snits respect- 
ing that country he once settled, and those lands hrougiit into mar- 
ket, you will soon see Macon ajtpeaf not only strone; on the muster- 
roll, hut also on the tax-lisi. In fact, as it is, Maton has paid 
more money into the Public Treasury than three-fourths of the 
counties. She has paid fully S140.000. Even as Macon now 
stands, v\ith her hands tied up by hard policy, let but the country 
stsnd in need of strong arms and st'iut hearts, and nowhere will 
they he sooner found than in patriotic Macon. 

Mr. F said, he held in his hand sexeral other calculations, to 
show the inequality of our system, but he thought he had cxliibited 
enough. It these were not sufficient to make out the case, he would 
give it up : hut he thuuglit all v.onld admit, that these views show 
the great defects of the Constitution in one particular at least, and 
the consiqiient necessity for a reform. 

Mr. F. said, he was not one of thtise, if there he any such, who 
believe there are no good parts in the Constitution ; on the con- 
trary, he was deeply attariied to it, and if it were cured of its de- 
fects, he thought it a most admirable Constitution. 

That it should have defects ought not he a matter of wonder, 
when we recollect the times in wiiirh it was framed. NiMih-Ca- 
rolina was one of the first Colonies to stand up for her liberties, 
and establish an indeiiendent government for herself. She had 
but few lights to go by, and therefore very naturally committed 
some errors. 

This was not so much the case withsomeoftheother States, and 
yet what is the fact ? Why, everj one of those States that formed 
Constitutions subsequent to North-Carolina have held Convenflons 
and reformed their Constitutions, some have held even moie than 
one Convention. 

How has it happened, said Mr. F. that all these States were so 
unfortunate as to have defects in their Constitutions, when North- 
Carolina alone happened to make a perfect one ? 

No, it is not tiiat our Constitution is grossly defective, as I hare 
shown, but causes have conspired to prevent us from amending it; 
these causes may be found in the sectional jealousy which exists in 
tlie State, and which have thus long kept justice at bay ; but this 
cannot be tlie case much longer. This contest must come to a close; 
gentlemen may flatter themselves that it will not, but they only 
deceive themselves. Population is going to the West and so jg 


wealth. Compare tht* amount "f faxes now paid intlipWest, with 
what wa'^ i«-:cl _vi-ai's ago. atxl yon will see iliat wt^iltli ke |)S 
pace wifli |)optilation. Ti'ue, owiiia: toFeileial les;sl.itioii, neitiier 
ponnlritioti nor wealth increase as rapidU as they ought. I only 
Sjieak of ihis increase in contrast wi'li the E..sterii |iait of the S'ate. 

Wheic |)O|iulati0!i and w- ilfh travel, tliere will power go. Yuti 
cannot arrest its mai-rh. You miglit as well attempt to stop the 
Neuse in its course to i>l<l Ocean. 

Yes, we must have reform in Nortii-Carolina. Why should we 
not have it, when the spirit is .il)road O'l the G'obe ? Wliei'C do 
you not set' it ? Even in the r)ld governments of Europe it is at 
WO'k, we witness its pT'ogress in England, the naiioti from which 
we derive our Instituiims. The gentleman from Halifax, (,Mr. 
Long.) remarked in his spr-ech, that thei-e is no analogy between 
the struggle in England and ours ; lie is mistaken, it is the very 
same struggle; equal rights is what both are contending for. The 
fact is, our institntio'is in North Carolinagreatl} resemble those of 
Ei.gland in some striking particulars. What is it they are endea- 
voiing to get rid of in ? The Borough system. What is 
it we are complaining of? Tiie Coimty system. 

The evil in England is greater than here, but it is bad enough 
here in all conscience — too bad to be borne many years loiiger. A 
-Convention then is \vanting for the purpose t>f refoi-iniug the Con- 
stimtion, and to expel many i^vils tliat exist in the bodv politic, to 
break up local divisions, to allay the heart-burnings and jeilousies, 
that exist iu this Legislature, and to make us feel ,is one people. 
"Who can look at these unfortunate divisions and not dplore theip 
effects? They prevent us from doing any thing for the State. 
Wliat have we ever dine? What iiave \vc (lone for the education 
of the rising generation ? Almost evci'y State in the Union has 
laid do"n plans for common sciiools and general education, except 
Nortli Cai'iilina. We have literally done nothing, exd-pt to create 
a small literary fund, from which we occasionally bon-ow a few 
thousand dolhirs to pav he members. Intelligence is the only safe- 
guard for rhe rights of the people, and but little have we done for 
this cause. What iiave we done for developing the natural re- 
sources of the State ? N ilhing — literally nothing — and how does 
this happen? Wliy we are so murh divided by sectional jealousies 
that we cannot act altogether ; start a pioject and some will pull 
this Way, and some that. 

Asa proof that I do not exaggerate, witness the feelings that 
have been displayed on the R^il-rond bills now before us. And 
here, said Mi. F. it is proper to notice some <<{ the remarks made 
by <ine of he members from Rowan on this subject. (Mr. Pearson.) 
I was one of those who attended a meeting in Salisbury, held dur- 


in,^ the last fall, in favor of a Cpiitral Rail-road. I certainly ilid 
so wjtli fet'litii^s ami iii'>iivcs of tile most patiinrii' ki^id, and the 
wortliy ritiz<'n "f Srilislniry wlio was most active in ;;eitinfi; iip tiiut 
meetiiiij;, 1 am siii-e was influciiriM! Us no o heicohsideialidc. But 
this rneeliMa; was lespoiKlvd to liy mretin(i;H licld iis Ruli'iji^li, New- 
bern, Caitnet, HiilsUorotigh and utliei- iilarcj, and now iTiIiohi ail 
this IS (liscin ercd to be iiotliiti;; more noi- less tlian a POLiTiciL 
coMBfNATiojf. I intend to i»,ii\i' no |)eisoiia! allusions, hutri'n!ly 
thtir are some nun in this world so peilVcilv inci.]),il!le themselves 
of :ill disititerested and patiiotir niotiv<'s, tliat they suppose every 
body else to be like themselves ; hence, whenever a man perfoi-ins 
an art, if. !iy any possihiliiy, it rais be made susceptible of iwo ron- 
strortions, di-awina; the rule from tlieii- Dwti bosoms, they are stire 
to assiijn to it the worst motive. It basoften been my lot in life ro 
eiiconnter s'ich men. [t is also iMsiniiHied. that I had been oppcised 
to tlie Central, when first staited by (lie venerable Pre- 
sident nf 'he University, anfi had iouked on it as visional^, wiid 
and extravaarant, and that now, for jiojiticai purpose*;, I have turn- 
ed in favor of it. Mr. Fislier said, he would not so far for.a;et the 
respect deie to thi House, as to pi-onaiince the chaige false, but be 
would, witii becomini; decoi-uin, prove it so. 

The first time that the suliject of Central Rail-road was ever 
broiisfht before.tMs House, it was l)> a resoiution, directiiij^ the 
Govesjier to apply tu the General Government loi- a Corps of En- 
gineers to make a Survey of llie route. Tliis res.dution, as I un- 
derstood, at 'he time, was drawn up by Dort. Caldwell, and placed 
in the bands 'if the gentleman from New beiii ^Mc Gaston). That 
gentleman, for good reasons no doubt, handed it over to Mr. Alex- 
ander, a member from Mecklenburg, who intrdduced it, tngether 
with a letter from the Secretary ot War, consenting to cause the 
survey to he made, provided liie Legislature would m;ike the re- 
quest. Objections were soon r;iised tn tlie passage of the resolu- 
tion, on the grounds that it might, in the end. turn oi>t to be an 
encroachment o'l State rights. Mi. F. said, lie had always been 
an advocate for Stite righ's. but he could, not see bow this lesolu- 
tion would infringe 'hem, and therefore was in favor of its adoption. 
But wishing to remove all ohjecnons, I drew a sulistitute, so as to 
place the whole affair under ibe direction oT tlie State, and also I'e- 
quiring some other survey to be made ; which substitute, I offereti 
and supported, but which, together with the origiiial, failed. Mr. 
F. here [iroduced the Joiirii<iI, ;ind reitd the final vote on the reso- 
lution. This is enough. I think, said he, to disprove the cliarge 

that I ever was opposed to the scheme of a Ceiitr:i! R^iil-road 

But, contitiurd Mr. F. it h-is been said, that 1 was once friendly to 
a Rail-road from Fayetteville to the Yadkin, and that I was the 


first person who moved a lesolulioii for (liat imrpogc. To prove 
tliis. tlip ftviitli'man tV'iiii llo\v;iii Imh '^caiclic' up the . Journals, and 
has aDiially foniid Ihc ies.ilutiou ilsc-lT. Y'--. ; the gcntleinaii is 
rie;lit. I was then in C^ivoi of the pbin, and what is still more, am 
710W ill favor of it ; and not only of this, iuit of every other sclieinc 
of improvement, which will go to develo|)e the natural resources of 
tiie State, and improve the condition of llie people. I am imt one 
of (hose who wish to si'e hiir one p;irt of Norlh-Cvirolina pi'o;;ress- 
ine;; my affections foi- the Stale are large eannafh to spread over 
the whole; and wiirncver I see impidvem'iits going on, whciher 
ill the or llie West, (here my e;ood wishes arc sure to fall. — 
Yes, 1 am not only in fav^r of the Central Ilaii-mad, hut of the 
Cape Fear and Y;\(i!iii/Rail-i nad likewise, and I will go as far in 
voting approiniations on these siibjeeis as any otiier member of this 
Legislature. IC the gentleman f-'im had seaiched a little 
further in the Journals, he would hiivc fiond that one of the pro- 
visions ill my siibstitiile lor Mr. Alexander's resolution was. that 
a Survey should likewise be made <if a route from Fayett<vilie to 
the Yadkin. He might have discovered still fiirlher evidence.s of 
friendship to ihe Ca|)e Fear section of the State ; for I will venture 
to say, he will find my vote recorded in favor nf every appropria- 
tion made for ihe im|)ro''»ement of the CapcP'ear, during tln-yrars 
I have been a member nf ilie Legislature ; also, the appiiipriaiion 
for the Hats beh>vv Vt'ilmingtoo, not only iihvays rereived my votes, 
but in moments of danger, my open and active support in tliis 
House. But, sir, all this is forgotten, and 1 am denftunced here, 
and in tlie Fayetleville papers, because I am in favor of the Central 
Hail-road, and suspected to hr one (;f those who doubt the poliry 
of rein(nii)g the Seal of Government from Raleigh. 

Is this, sir, the way to treat friends ? or, to make friends ? Time 
will prove all tilings. 

Mr. Fisher could hut i-egret that the gentleman fnmi Rowan had 
thought proper to turn tiie discussion away from Ihe Convention 
Question to other matters. lit no doiiht had his motives foi* so 
doing, and the House might judge of them. 

I hope, said Mr. F. I have said noihing in the course of my re- 
marks to increasr sectional jealousies, or to wound any member's 
feelings on this floor. Althoiigli we may not all possess equal tal- 
ents and qualifications, we all possess equal rigiits and jnivileges, 
and to me it shows a want of good feeling, f rone member, because 
lie has a better use of his tongue liian another, to sport with his 
feelings or wound his sensibility ; sncli has never been myi)ractice 
and never will be. 

Aftti Mr. Fisher sat dow n. 

Ml. Pearson said, the genllcman from Salisbury is not mista- 
ken in supposing I meant my remarks for him. 1 did so, under 


the belief (liat he was (he wiKcr of Ihe letter I then read- The 
cjicat r;iii^e of CoiMeiitioii hiis been iniiifcd by aiionynioiis i^ews- 
})Kiier scriblilei's, who ai-e atlemptiu:;; 1o j^et ii|> a rumor and helict 
that there is a"roalilioii ;" and in Ihis side Wiiv to ihiow odium 
!)p(*ii the iiieasiM'e. I tiiiuij;ht it my duty, as an advoratc of the 
ConveuliDii, lo Imld iij) tiie author of that publication to puidic ex- 
oeratiitu. I be!ie\c the arrow casne from tlie bow of tliat ,a;entle- 
i!)aii. and fully accordiiij^ wiih the sentiment he lias Just e,j;prcsscrf, 
thai it is unmanly and nni^eMei'oijs to shoot in the dark, I chose, m 
the f^ice of day, iUid in the presence of this hot.oiablc body, to 
iiiak.- liie charge. I have iu->ci', and 1 hope will never Vesorr to 
the miserable practice of newspajier scribblin.^. If tlie genUPina» 
from Salisbui'y will say that he did not wrile that letter, 1 will 
admit that I have unnecessarily brou.i;iit hiin into tliis debate, and 
will apologise in the piesence of this House. While I am up, let 
me cotivince you and him, that I have not (ixed upon him without 
gond cause. When I first lead lliat pifblication. it struck me that 
tiie st3ie was his, anri [ recollected ha. in.;; heard that he had seen 
the letter from BcHufort. in the hands of tlo' member from New- 
hern. Still I was not detcj-miried lo act until, in his preliminary 
remarks on these resolotioni. he made use of tlie words precisely 
that arc contained in ilie coiu'.nsioti of the letter — "1 believe the 
moderate meii.bnih of East and West, wish to seethe qnestion conipro- 
mised." Wlien these vciy woid^i fell from him, I conteivcd my- 
self jtistiHed ill my belief, and acted uj;on it. 

Here Mr. Fisher rose and said, tluv gentleman's remarks re- 
(iiiiiod a short rcjdy. He has p;it the question to me, whether I 
was (he author of the letter wliich lie has just read in the Western 
Carolinian. H(! is too late in asking me that ijucstion. If his 
purpose had been a siraight-forward one ; if his object had been to 
vindicate himself and not to attack me, why did he not come to me 
when he first saw the letter, and say, sir, 1 find a letter liere-whicli 
reflects on me ; I siispvct you to be tiie writer — are you, or are^ou 
not, the writer ? Had he adapted this open, manly coui'se, iie , 
should have had my answer at the risk of my life. But how has 
he i\cteil ? Why he geis up here to make a speech on tiie 
Convention, but quits the subject, takes up the lettei-, an<l aims a 
great many ill-natured inueiidnes at me, evidently intimating that 
1 am the writei-, and now, wiien I reply t'l his remarks, he gets up 
and asks me if 1 wrote the letter. Every gentleman in this House 
will at once see that the course he has pursued, forbids that I 
should condescend to answer him. He has made his election of the 
manner of attacking me, and be may make the most of it. I will 
not so far forget the respect due to myself as to answer the question. 

A fi-\«. words as to the meeting in S.iisbary. That meeiing as- 
sembled for the purpose of recommending the Central Rail -road. 


and had no objection, I am sur'c, tn the other Rail-road. If any 
per-siiri h«(l stepppii forward, and prop'tsed that the meeting also 
recomnieiid a Rail-road froiii Faj'etteviiJc to the Yadiiin" there 
wouhl not have heoii a dissesiting voice. But how was it? The 
genthmaii's brother, Mr. Joseph Pearson, a citizen of VVashin.afton 
Citj', went into the mei-tiiij^ Ktid made a sp^■el'h 'if tvio hours length, 
against the Ceniral ll;iil-road and in fivor ol the other, mo\ed to 
sti'ike out the one, and insert the nihcr in the re.-iohitions. This 
it wAfi that created t>|)positii>n. Had Mr. Pearson simply propo- 
sed also 10 recommend the Fajetlexille Rail rosid, it would have 
been adopted, and all fiave jjassed off in harmuny. 

While 1 am up, a word or two further as to these Convention 
resolutions. I dcevv up the resolutions now on jour table. Tlie 
gentleman from Rowan (Mr. P.J came to my room and asked me 
to do so, and tlint he would introduce lliem. I drew them 
ac4ording to iiis wishes and gave tliem to him to in'ro- 
duce ; h'' kept them nniil I found lie was not going to introduce 
tliem, whin 1 placed a copy of them in the hands of mj' friend from 
Macuii, wlio offered them to the House; and now the gentleman 
fro-.r. Rowan has come out and opposed the;n. As I said before, I 
ha\e no particular desire for these resolutions; but I believe that 
the subject of Cunveniion ought to be discussed at this time, and I 
belit\e ihat there is a disposition among many members to com- 
promise on liberal priuciples. 

Mr. Pearson said, 1 am sorry the gentleman has refused to ad- 
mit or d:'n\ having written the letter. If not out of love for me, 
at least in self-resj)ect. II he be not the author of the letter, he 
should sa\ so. Tlie public eye is fixed upon him. Sir, I am \iiry 
much amused that he should attempt, wiihout admitting or denying 
the fact, to prove that he caimot be the writer. He says he never 
read the letter, althoui^li the gentleman from NevA hern told him the 
contents, and promised to let him see it. 

Mr. Fisher here said, the gentleman from Rowan is mistaken, I 
have not attempted to disprove it. 

Mr. P. contiiHted, I can't say what the gentleman from Salisbury 
would call disproving — it is wvy certain, he said he had never 
read that letter. The House can say whether this remark Was not 
intended to show that he was not the writer i>i this, and they can 
say whether it is not as easy to refer to a letter in an anonymous 
communication, after having heard the contents, as after having 
read it. 

I repeat, sir, if he be not the author, self-resj)ect should induce 
him to say so. The publicaiimi has spread far and wide, public 
attention is fixed on him as the writer, and I have given him a fair 
opportunity in public to avow or disavow the authorship. If he 


liersist in refusing to admit or deny, I shall always believe lie 
wrote it. The public will always believe so. His ii^marks as to 
a relation of mine, goes to convict him of having thought much 
about this matter. 

Mi-.FisuBR said, the gentleman says since I decline answering 
bis questiouj whetiier I wrote the letter or not, he will take it as 
an acknowledgment that I did wrtle it. As to that, all I have to 
say is, that he may consider me as the wriier or not, just as lie pleases 
— to me it is a matter of perfect indifference. 

Mr. Gaston concluded this debate, as well as that on the Ap- 
priation bill; but as we have not received uu- Notes, which we sent 
to him for correction, we are under the necessity of publishing the 
Pamphlet without his rera<iiks. 

The question on the indefinite postponement of these resolutions 
was carried 69 votes to 56. 
The Yeas and Nays were as follows : 

Yeas. — Messrs. Arrington, Beckwitii, Bell, Boddie, Bonner, Brag^% Broad 
hulst, Chamblee, Ciierry, Cloinan, Unx, CruiTip, Daniel, OaviS, Fl )*ers, Free- 
man, Gause, Gillespie, Glenn, Grindy, Gaston, Hanpjr, Haywood, Hartley, rtuul- 
der, Howard, Hunt, Jnckson, Jarvis, J. B. Jones, Juiicins, LirKins, Lun^', Lyon, 
Moody, Moore, McCleese, MoM Han, Nelson, Niotiolsm, Outlaw, O'Sru-o, Pitt- 
man, Powell, Rand, Riddiclc, l{0'>ertson, Sanders, SassT, Sottle, Sirmnons, Sin- 
gleton, J. H. Skinner, J. M. -itinner, Spci^lit, Spnn I, Stall n^s, Stephens, Sum- 
ner, Swanner, L. Thompson, G. A. riiompson, T loH, T >wnsend, Wilson,' A. 
W. Wooten, C. \Vooten, W. iVrigntanl Wycrte. — 69. 

Nats. — Messrs. Abernatliy, Allison, Barnn^er, B.>^le, Brevard, Brooks, Bur« 
gin, Calloway, Cansler, Oiaytm, Courts, Cunniiiifnira, Uividsm, Dotiery, Ed- 
monston, Bramett, Fad lis, Fl'inm,^, Garland, Glass. Givyi, Hirt, Henry, Hill, 
Hogan, Laspeyre, LeaKe, Misk, vleb>ne, Miller, Mmt, Morris, McCain, 
rin, McLean, McMeill, M.;iiiiean, Pearson, Pen;)! s. Petty, Pjik, Seawell, Shei«> 
wood. Sloan, jmitii, Talliaoi, Tn.imas, vV dsw <riii, ^^UoD, WeSTer, Webb; 

Whitaker, Winston, Witctier, Wortb aad Ziglar<— 36, 

North Carolina State Library 




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